First Look

FFPJ & Ministry of Labour hand over houses to PATH families in Clarendon

Food For The Poor - Jamaica | 2013-03-20 00:00:00

Food For The Poor Jamaica (FFPJ), in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, today handed over houses to two families who are beneficiaries of the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) in Hayes and Rocky Point, Clarendon. Today’s presentations marked the first two of 48 houses, which are earmarked for PATH families, under the pilot initiative of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Food For The Poor Social Housing Project.

By the end of May this year, another 12 such housing units will be handed over to PATH beneficiaries.

Addressing today’s presentation ceremony, Hon. Derrick Kellier Minister of Labour and Social Security announced, “The units being handed over today represent the first of approximately forty-eight (48) one and two bedroom homes that will be constructed, at an overall cost of twenty million Jamaican dollars.”

Minister Kellier explained that PATH families are identified and selected based on a clearly defined system, which is monitored, by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security Parish Appeals Committees. He added, “To date, 60% of the applications received have been reviewed by the Parish Appeals Committee and it is expected that within the next two months at least 12 units will be completed.”

Giving a further update on the project, Minister Kellier advised that the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and Food for Poor Jamaica to provide social housing for PATH families demonstrates that through
public-private partnerships much can be achieved in addressing the basic needs of Jamaica’s poor and vulnerable citizens.  He stated that as part of the Ministry’s mandate of promoting human capital development to reduce dependence on the state, “the Social housing project affords the Ministry with an opportunity to move from referring PATH beneficiaries in need of housing assistance, to providing the assistance. “  

Also addressing today’s presentation initiative, Jacqueline Johnson, Executive Director of Food For the Poor Jamaica said the project is improving the living conditions of the most needy and vulnerable in Jamaica, and has the potential to make a significant difference to the country’s social infrastructure. “Food for the Poor has been partnering with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to provide housing for PATH families who cannot afford to build suitable houses for themselves, given their socio-economic conditions. This housing project is empowering the poor by helping to break the cycle of poverty in their lives,” Mrs. Johnson asserted.
Over the next five years, FFPJ will be constructing in excess of 9,000 houses for indigent and low-income families. Chief among those projects, Mrs. Johnson outlined, are the Social Housing Project with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security; a two–pronged initiative involving the Ministry of Housing and the Housing Agency of Jamaica (HAJ); and National Housing Trust.

The FFPJ Executive Director explained that to date, the charity has constructed in excess of 22,000 homes for destitute families across Jamaica.

“Take care of your new home”, urged Mrs. Johnson. “I also encourage you, recipient families, to make your house a place of warmth and kindness where your family and visitors will feel at home. Our charity wishes you, the recipient families, success in all your endeavours.”  She said her charity is committed to enhancing the lives of needy Jamaicans, by helping to address their shelter needs and other basic needs.

Rudyard Spencer, Member of Parliament for Clarendon South Eastern, in whose constituency the event took place, commended the joint housing initiative: “This is a housing solution that Jamaica needs and Jamaica is eternally grateful to FFP and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.” Mr. Spencer expressed the belief that today’s two PATH beneficiaries are very deserving of the houses provided.

The two recipients, Ivy Gordon of Cornpiece, Hayes and Lelieth Gunnes of First Street, Rocky Point expressed elation on receiving the gifts of new shelter.

An emotional Ivy Gordon, who is a mother of four, declared, “I am so overwhelmed! I believe God was going to come through for me in a way He never did before. When I see a completed sturdy house, I know God has come through on his promise. I am really thankful for Food For The Poor and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.”

Ms. Gunnes echoed similar sentiments: “Thanks to God for answering my prayers so that I can have this house today. Hurricane Dean took everything, but now I have a new house. I am so overjoyed.”

Also in attendance at the handing-over ceremony were His Worship Mayor of May Pen Councillor Scean Barnswell; Councillor Winston Maragh of the Rocky Point Division; Dunstan Bryan, PATH Project Director and Denzil Thorpe, Director of Social Security.


Posted By :Petri-Ann Henry

Company Name : Food For The Poor - Jamaica

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