Homeless and depressed - Fire victims need help
The rains have been unrelenting since last Friday when fire gutted a multifamily dwelling at 99 East Street in Kingston. Most of the 16 persons who lived in the house are now forced to sleep in a shed, which was once the resting spot for mechanic Derrick Nam and his staff.
Loraine Thompson said that the plastic chairs and old car seats have become their beds. "Is under this all of we have to bundle up and sleep," Thompson told THE STAR.
But even with the restless nights, Thompson said that they are soldiering on. She said that two of their sons, who recently became employed, have found it particularly difficult.
"Two of them just get work and because of that they said that them can't give them the time off, and is the same clothes from last week them have to be wearing," Thompson said.
One of those young men is 27-year-old Brian Hibbert. He had just bought his first set of furniture after getting his job.
"Is a lot of hunger I went through to be where I am now, to buy mi furniture dem, and dem gone. I really don't know where to start," Hibbert said.
Sonia Baxter, 69, the oldest among the group, said that the last few days have been very challenging.
"All of my belongings gone. Only what on my body I save. So I have to be washing and wearing them," Baxter said.
The two children who lived among the 16 persons are reportedly traumatised by the incident.
"When my four-year-old son told me that he was traumatised, that hurt the most," Samantha Hibbert said. "Him nuh waan stay here but this is where we are from. It is a family place. This is our origin."
Samantha's son and her little nephew are staying with relatives in a nearby community.
Thompson said that they have reached out to their member of parliament, Desmond McKenzie, for assistance.
"Him [McKenzie] said that we should get the fire report and ask for help, so that is what we have done. He will not be able to get us any help until next year," Thompson said.
Nam, who lost two of the cars he was working on, said that he has been stressed since the incident. "I can't concentrate properly, worse wid the two cars that burnt up. I have to be running up and down a deal with people and them cars," Nam said.
The group is asking the public to assist them in any way that they can.
For those who wish to help, contact Thompson:
1876 328 1930