As cynical as I ever be I'll take this one with a grain of salt as we have seen so called assistance come before and a so called can drive where tinned items were collected and after persons got patted on their backs with thank yous it died and it was business as before, the tokenism pity for the homeless MSM while only where it gets really bad then there is another outcry and alarmist LGBT crisis reorting supposedly in a bid to save them.
Now comes a post on 76crimes on the issue but do not forget the historical context of all this and that MSM homelessness is not only a New Kingston problem but is islandwide and has always been there from ever since the district was built. The very title of the post suggest a filthy disposition of the men and also referring to "informed activist" as if to suggest that those who openly criticise the failure over the years of groups such as JFLAG and the very suspicious way this new thrust suddenly appears are not in the know when persons like myself are on the road almost every night seeing the sights and the sounds of the men in various parts while foreigners blog about it from more privileged activists who do not go on the road themselves but expect the poor overburdened crisis intervention folks to do the dirty work.
Homeless LGBT men whom Jamaican police burned out of their shelter in a drainage ditch have relocated to the sewers, according to an informed activist.
The men’s plight — evicted from their homes by family, chased out of abandoned houses by police, forced out of a ditch where they huddled, now hiding in the sewers — has touched the hearts of a few charitable souls, who have provided a little food and financial assistance. See the bottom of this post for information about how you can help too.
The men are typically referred to as “unruly gays,” because their behavior is sometimes obnoxious or abusive.
But the police strategy of driving them out of wherever they live is short-sighted. At this point, a comprehensive, longer-term solution is under discussion, but remains far from reality.
Here’s the latest on the homeless MSM (men who have sex with men):
UPDATE ON HOMELESS MSM BURNED OUT BY JAMAICAN POLICE
A female Jamaican senior citizen and mother was so moved by the plight of these young men who were burned out by the police on Oct. 15 that she started providing them with non-perishable food items and cooking utensils from her own meager resources. Since a plea went out for assistance last week, several persons have agreed to help her defray some of the costs associated with this venture.
Thanks to this generosity we have been able to provide the youngsters with very basic sustenance and we also collected clothes which we will be sending to replace some of what they lost.
These youngsters (some of whom are just teenagers) have to be very mobile as they have been chased out of every home they occupied. Some of their previous residences were actually torn down after the boys were evicted by armed police. Now they live in sewers and even there they are not safe from police attack.
The gully in New Kingston, Jamaica, where the homeless men lived.
While we work on meeting their immediate needs, we are also collecting and documenting their stories so we can decide which course of action to pursue in order to provide them with long-term assistance.
It is clear these boys need a dedicated facility as they are harassed and abused when they use the government shelters. This is not surprising as our national revulsion against homosexuality makes homeless LGBT the lowest on the national totem pole of poverty. Any facility for these damaged youth will need to address their physical and emotional needs caused by crushing societal and family rejection.
Jamaicans should care about this issue because “the measure of a nation is how it treats its weakest members.”
Anyone who wants to help these homeless young men should leave a message in the comments section below this post or on the Erasing 76 Crimes page on Facebook.
Peace and tolerance