Living in Shambles: Blind man hoping to see better days

March 30, 2017
Leroy Porter wipes away tears as he talks about his living conditions.
Visually impaired Leroy Porter in his home in Rose Town.

To have normal sight and to be living in extreme deplorable conditions is undesirable in most, if not all cases. Let alone to be fully blind and having to endure such severe struggles all alone.

This is the reality for 78-year-old Leroy Porter, a resident of Rose Town in Kingston.

Porter, who is also a church deacon, told THE STAR that he has been living in the impoverished community for 43 years.

"Been living in Rose Town for monkey years, from about 1974. Mi blind completely. Me only a talk. Mi nuh know who me a talk to, me only a hear."

Although there aren't many who come to his assistance, Porter said he is not short of helping hands whenever he is needed to vote.

"Every election voting time me haffi go vote. The lady weh look bout me, dem carry me and dem hold me hand and me mek the X. Right now, me nuh know nuh councillor enuh. You had a gentleman who use to pass here. Him help me a little on my house bottom when it did a drop out," he said.

When asked by our news team how he knows where to put the X, he said, "because dem hold mi hand on the paper and on the line and she hold the hand, and say, 'draw it so', then me draw it the other way and mek the X."

But on a daily basis Porter's struggles continue as he only receives a meagre $2,000 from the PATH Programme, but he did not say how often he receives this money.

"Me a get one $2,000 but it nah work out. Mi clothes fi wash. Mi need all food, and sometime me haffi check the doctor and health business," he said.

He noted that he also gets helps from his church sister. "She deal with all the necessary. She a mi eye actually," Porter said.

Still, Porter is badly in need of a roof, as when it rains he has to get very creative with bath pans.

"See dem here. One up here so on the bed with the pillow, and one go dung ya so and one over here so. When the rain a fall, mi sleep ya so underneath the closet weh nuh water nah too come. The place want fix," Porter said.

Although Porter has family across Jamaica, he said he hopes he gets some help because he doesn't want to leave Rose Town.

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