|The latest documentary type coverage on the issue in New Kingston go HERE|
.................. take note no mention of Dwayne's House or JFLAG for that matter.
|The gully before the population numbers exploded|
and the subsequent fallout where it is now fenced
|The present situation in New Kingston|
|The now demolished previous Safe House site.Jamaica AIDS Support for Life Office |
where that shelter response was abandoned under dubious circumstances,
an icon gone, see Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum (where it all began to go downhill)
On Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 Yvonne McCalla Sobers of Families Against State Terrorism, Chair of Dwayne's House, provided this update on the challenges facing the homeless youth in the gully nearing the Scotiabank Building; it is not a sewer in the true sense of the word by local standards as been marketed by some as it serves as rain runoff from the Golden Triangle upscale neighbourhood but if that works to get the foreign interest transfixed so be it.
|meeting with the Member of Parliament for the area where the homeless LGBT youth now "live," Julian Robinson, as well as some concerned clergy - Rev. Sean Major-Campbell (Christchurch Anglican), Rev Astor Carlyle (Webster’s Memorial United), and Rev Margaret Fowler (Hope United). The meeting was called to discuss shelter options for the youngsters (taken from Maurice Tomlinson's FB profile)|
Their circumstances continue to be desperate. Apart from the pressing need for shelter, there are also medical and dental concerns. The first group of four went for their medical checkups today [Monday, Feb. 3], where they will see a doctor who supports the Dwayne's House agenda. He will see them in groups of four every Monday as long as necessary. The current challenge is finding a dentist who will provide a similar service: examination and treatment pro bono or heavily discounted.
At the same time, it is possible that the absence of negative publicity in the media might be due to a relationship we have developed with Commander Murdock who is in charge of the New Kingston police station. Tyrone, the DH liaison person with the youth, is regularly in touch with Commander Murdock, and Tyrone and I meet with him periodically.
Our registration documents were finally accepted last week, after about six weeks of bureaucratic roadblocks. We will therefore step up our fundraising efforts shortly.
I thought the story ended when the youth were transported to the doctor, but there was more drama to come.
Tyrone didn't have the number of the taximan who took the group to the doctor, so he just called back On Time taxi company when the group was to return to New Kingston. However, three On Time taxis came in response to Tyrone's calls, and ALL REFUSED to take the group. I then called On Time and the dispatcher could give no reason why the taxis would not transport our youth. She promised to send a taxi to take the youth to New Kingston, but about fifteen minutes later, no On Time taxi had arrived, and none ever did.
So I called Safe Travel [another cab company], said specifically that the taxi driver was to look out for three youth waiting at the hospital gate. I also gave the dispatcher Tyrone's phone number. I confirmed the fare with the dispatcher: JA$500 [about US$5]. When I called Tyrone to see if the taxi had arrived, he told me the taxi driver had called and he was two minutes away.
Then Tyrone called me urgently to let me know the taxi driver said he was charging them JA$700 [US$7] for the journey. He said he upped his fare because there were three men. I immediately called back the dispatcher who confirmed that the fare was JA$500. The taxi driver transported the youth back to new Kingston (whew!) and voiced his surprise that I would make a fuss over a "measly” two hundred dollars!
Apparently some taxi men are understandably apprehensive about taking a number of men in their vehicles. So that might partly explain the reluctance of the taxi men to transport the youth. However, this was in the middle of the day, and On Time was merely being asked to pick up passengers the company's taxi had deposited at the hospital. However the extra charges asked could only have something to do with some kind of "gay tax" or premium that gay men must pay if they hire a taxi.
I was relieved when the youth reached back to New Kingston. I had anticipated that four of them would have gone with Tyrone, but only two did, in the long run. Both have prescriptions to be filled.
Never a dull moment."
remember this from Feb 2013
Peace and tolerance