Homeless man seeks help

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Homeless man seeks help

BY BRITTNY HUTCHINSON
Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, January 14, 2021

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HOMELESS and unemployed for the past 15 years, Derrick Morgan was considering suicide to escape life's hardships late last year before he was talked out of it by a concerned friend.

But the 50-year-old, who lives in an old building in Vineyard Town, St Andrew, remains desperate as he struggles to eke out a living.

“Even if I get a second-hand stove, I can do a makeshift kitchen and do some baking. I don't know why, but I can't make it in life. Everything I try doesn't work out. [This year] I want to have a business running, so I can sell in the streets,” Morgan told the Jamaica Observer recently.

Morgan said he attended Occasions Catering School on Tucker Avenue in Kingston and was certified at HEART Trust/NTA (now the HEART/National Service Training Agency Trust) but has failed to gain employment due to his age. His employment opportunities worsened with the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“At 50, I don't think anybody will want to employ me because I am too old. Everywhere I go they tell me that they want young people. Miss, I sent out a lot of job applications but I have not received a response,” said Morgan.

The St Mary native explained that at times he would earn a living from cleaning people's yards and helping vendors in Coronation Market, downtown Kingston.

“Miss, I always get a little days' work to do and I help a lady in the market to pack up her market stuff and then get a little change to buy food, but it is barely enough,” said Morgan.

He also pointed out that staying on the streets puts him at serious risk as homeless people are targets of some troublemakers.

“It has been a very rough time staying on the street, miss. I stay in the old building at nights because people want to hurt me they even want to drop stones on my head. Then I go to downtown in the mornings,” he said.

Asked if he tried seeking help from Food For the Poor, Morgan said, “No... I just want somebody to see the condition that I am living in, and even if they can offer a caretaker job, some clothes or food stuff, I just really want to be alright. I have been suffering for so long.”


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