An old blind man's plea

Help me repair my house, please

BY JEDIAEL CARTER
Sunday Observer staff reporter
carterj@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 13, 2017

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It's what he has called home for over 40 years, but the wooden structure that houses George Dixon in Islington, St Mary, is in dire need of repair.

Broken wooden frames, unhinged doors, rotted flooring, and a leaky roof are some defects the elderly blind man identified.

As he pushed aside an unhinged rickety door, Dixon pointed out that he has no option but to live in the decrepit structure, the walls of which are riddled with gaping holes and cracks, allowing people on the outside to see into his house.

“Mi wet up in yah when rain fall, man, wet up in yah good, good. All mi can do a squinge up and wait till it done,” Dixon said.

As if that were not enough, holes in rotted floorboards in the kitchen give entry to various vermin.

Dixon told the Jamaica Observer that he has not left his house in the five years since he lost his sight. To get around the house he uses his outstretched arm as a cane to determine his location and proximity to objects. But that isn't foolproof, as he has bumped into objects in the cramped dwelling.

“A day time mi nuh do one thing besides sit down yah so, and when mi feel like mi waan sleep. Mi go in deh go lay down an sleep, mi cyaa do nothing at all,” he lamented.

Though he has two children — a daughter and son — Dixon could not recall when they last spoke with him or visited.

“A long time mi nuh see mi daughter. Mi beg somebody call her a long time now but mi nuh see him come. Mi son say him a come inna da month yah, but mi nuh see him yet,” the elderly man said.

“Mi son deh a America. First time mi used to hear from him [but] mi nah hear from him again. Mi nuh hear from mi daughter either,” he continued.

Asked how he gets food, Dixon said a nephew takes him groceries every two weeks and gives a stipend to his neighbour, Eleanor Clarke, to cook, clean and wash for him.

“If a no fi mi nephew, mi dead,” he stressed.

For Clarke, taking care of Dixon is basically returning a favour.

“Mi start tek care of him because when I had a confrontation with my husband and I had to leave where I was living, he (Dixon) said I could come and live with him. So from that I pay him the recompense, seeing that he was so kind,” Clarke told the Sunday Observer.

“Him no really get lef' out by me. Him family dem no really help him, but cause wi deh near an wi know dem, dem sorta say dem appreciate it. But mi nuh feel say dem a do enough, but that's how it is,” she said.

Dixon is now seeking assistance to have his home restored. Though they have sought help from various organisations, their efforts have been unsuccessful.

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