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Family still homeless year after building collapse

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Family still homeless year after building collapse

By RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, March 25, 2019

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MORE than a year after six people were left homeless when a part of their rickety house on Rosemary Lane in Central Kingston collapsed injuring a two-year-old, they are still without a home.

Days after the house collapsed in December 2017, the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation demolished the building, leaving the occupants, including children, living with relatives and friends.

Patricia Morle told the Jamaica Observer last Tuesday that her efforts to rebuild on the premises have been futile.

“Since the building tear down we don’t get no help; mi go weh go work and mi get a little change, mi buy cement to say me a pave off a little space so me coulda block it up. When mi ask, before them help mi, one side bawl out say me a Labourite and nobody nuh give mi a hand. So mi say all right mi woulda work and build mi house,” Morle said.

The 56-year-old mother, who is also a practical home nurse but is unable to secure a job, said she has been staying with her son in a one-room dwelling near to the area that was once full of life.

“Mi son a big man now, 37, a time now him ago want him room cause you know how man want dem room… and mi and mi daughter and mi grandson in there so mi a say if anybody coulda just help mi out with some zinc, board and whatsoever, and pipe so we can run back we water,” she urged.

At the same time, she said the landowner has given her and the other occupants permission to rebuild on the property.

“[Instead of] making it stay and tun open land, we will build back and live back in deh,” she said, adding that the owner said that she would prefer having them live there instead of it being captured.

Insisting that her son’s dwelling is not convenient, she said, “Right now we nuh deh nuh weh. It hard fi know say you kotch inna smaddy house and you run out early morning, you go in late a night go sleep and come out.”

Meanwhile, the boy, Anthony Walters, who received a broken leg and injuries to his head, has fully recovered.

Walters’ mother Shelliann Evans, whose sister is among the homeless, said she’s grateful that he’s alive.

“Mi thank God everyday,” Evans told the Observer.

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