Sick and homeless, but willing to work
"Sometimes water come a me eye, but me just have to gwaan hold it till better come," 26-year-old Dane Brown said as he sat on the pile of tattered cardboards that have been his bed along the streets of downtown Kingston for the past month.
The orphaned young man said he has always had a challenging life, but things are particularly rough on him since he started suffering from kidney failure some three years ago.
The ailment has left him with a swollen belly, and he is too infirm to continue earning a living as a labourer on construction sites.
He said he had been staying with a friend for some time, but the single-room abode could not comfortably house him along with his friend's girlfriend for much longer.
So he decided to seek refuge at the Marie Atkins Shelter on Hanover Street, downtown Kingston.
"When me come it full, so me just have to sleep outside under the shed," Brown explained. "It hard out here, because when rain a fall, me cold. The chink dem bite we a night time and them scratch."
MORE MOCKERY THAN HELP
When day breaks, Brown said he hides his cardboard bed and takes to the streets to ask for spare change, but he gets more mockery than money.
"Sometimes people laugh at me and say, 'How him look like him pregnant so?' Poor dem nuh know say I sick. Me no want to live like this, but me sick and me no have anybody fi help me like that," Brown shared.
Though the renal ailment causes swelling and stiffness all over his body, as well as periodical shortness of breath, Brown said he is a hard worker and is willing to labour if offered the opportunity.
"From me a youth, me a hustle. If me get a little job, like sweeping or cleaning, me would take it. Me would really like a proper shelter over me head, and some food, a that a the main thing. Because of me sickness, me can't eat everything," he said.
Those wishing to assist Brown may contact him at 1-876-536-5423.