Walter “Ras Emmanuel” Duncan is a relieved man now that he no longer sleeps on a ledge on the waterfront in downtown Kingston.
Duncan had spent many months over the past two years sleeping on a ledge, exposed to the elements.
But, with assistance from Good Samaritans, at home and abroad, he no longer has to endure such a risky and tormenting experience.
After having his story published in the media Duncan received donations in cash and kind to improve his living condition.
He shared that, before he was thrown out on the streets a few years ago, life was somewhat stable for him. But, after he refused to meet the demands of a thug where he was living, he was forcefully evicted.
“Mi never stop move and try. Mi can't beg and mi nuh thief so mi affi juggle all the while.
“Where I was staying before, di bwoy push mi out because him want mi fi sell drugs fi him and mi tell him seh mi nah sell no coke. A road mi go and hustle,” shared Duncan who once sold coconuts to make a living.
When that business failed he transitioned his hustle into fishing in the Kingston Harbour, washing cars on the waterfront and doing odd jobs to ensure he had money in his pockets.
But, even the little that he earned was stolen on several occasions while he slept on the waterfront.
On Tuesday Duncan told the Jamaica Observer that, while his current living condition is not perfect, he is happy that he no longer has to sleep on the ledge where he faced the risk of falling into the sea.
“Life is a little bit better because I am no longer out a door. Sometimes mi can't even find the rent, but it is still a little better. The struggle goes on, but life is a little better now.
“When I was out here I had many sleepless nights. When it touch 10:00 pm, nuff time mi eye affi open till morning. You think a little things mi lose yah suh? Mi lose phone, boom box, clothes, and everything mi have inna di surroundings,” said Duncan.
“You know how much time mi deh yah suh and when mi look a rain dat come down pon mi. Mi affi grab up mi cardboard and tek weh myself. By time mi reach weh mi a go fi shelter, mi wet up. Mi go through a piece a struggle. Mi nuh know how mi nuh drop inna di sea and dead already, enuh. Mi nuh know how a man never come cut mi throat and push mi over deh suh. A skill and the Almighty save and protect mi,” added Duncan.
His son Dane is also relieved that his father doesn't have to sleep outdoors anymore.
Mi glad fi him man. Dem place yah rough a night-time, you know. Mi just glad seh nobody never kill him when him was sleeping out here,” said Dane.