Fire victims sleeping in car get helpMonday, September 20, 2021
BY AKERA DAVIS
OCHO RIOS, St Ann — Shadeed Harvey's faith in the goodness of others has paid off. Offers of help have flooded in since the Jamaica Observer highlighted her family's struggle after fire gutted their Cave Valley, St Ann house, leaving them to sleep in a motor car most nights.
“A lot of people reached out when the article came out. On the first day I got over 15 calls. It is such a good feeling that persons have decided to help, especially in this time when things so hard. I'm so grateful,” Harvey told the Observer.
The family's house was ravaged by fire on August 26, leaving Harvey, her young sons and their father, Secrant Bailey, to sleep in Secrant's taxi many nights.
“The first person who called was the MP [for St Ann South Western] Zavia Mayne and he got a woman from the Ministry of Labour to call me and we talked. She sent someone to look at the house that was burnt down. I'm waiting for the fire report so they can see it and that way I can get help to buy back like furniture,” said Harvey.
“I think she will also help me to get one of the Food For the Poor house too. That would be good because at least my children can be somewhere comfortable. It is so hard now to not have a place for them,” added the 24-year-old.
While the family waits, they still alternate sleeping in the car with spending nights at Bailey's sister's house.
Harvey explained that Bailey had doubted that anyone would respond to their plea for help. He is grateful, and happy that he has been proven wrong.
“Mi remember when the house just burn down and my baby father was crying and wondering if we would get any help. Mi tell him to just have faith, we will get help and see it happening now,” she added. “Him feel good as well to know that people are willing to help us.”
Up to last Friday, investigators from the Brown's Town Fire Station were still unable to determine the cause of the fire that started after she and her children went to deliver a meal to Bailey who was on the job. A neighbour had alerted her to the blaze, she said, but by then the damage had been done.
Good Samaritans have helped her with school supplies for her sons, seven-year-old Melique and three-year-old Chevoy.
“A few persons buy the kids bags and things but they still don't have any tablet. I just have to allow the big one to use my phone sometimes,” said Harvey.