Farmer's home condemned - Needs help to complete new house
Hubert Ebanks is on the verge of being homeless. The house in which the 66-year-old lives in Flagaman, St Elizabeth, has been deemed unfit for living by the health department.
Ebanks said he was born in the house, and he later inherited it from his parents. He said that the house was not always like this but over the years, it deteriorated.
"It wasn't bad all the while, but it goes down little by little, and then the storm come (Hurricane Ivan in 2004) and destroy it worse. The walls are old and some parts of the roof are missing. The one section that I am at now is the only part with a proper roof," Ebanks said.
The house has never had running water or a bathroom.
Born with a disability, Ebanks made a good life for himself by farming. He said that it was not easy but he had to do something, and as he got older, he began feeling intense pain in his knees.
"I was born with one of my foot unable to let me walk properly. Over the years it got worse, and even right now I am walking with a crutch. I had to go different doctors because I have arthritis and it was so much to bear," he said.
Hubert said he does not have any close family members to help him. His parents died when he was young, and his only surviving sibling is in and out of the hospital.
"Some persons stepped in and helped me because they are saying that it is cheaper to build a house than fix the old one," he said.
A one-bedroom house, which includes a kitchen, bathroom and verandah, is now being constructed for him. Members of the community and some well-thinking organisations contributed a total of $600,000, but those donated funds have now been used up.
Rachael Hernandez, one of the chief persons seeking to give Ebanks a decent place to live, has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise CDN$5,000 (approximately J$530,000) to complete the project. Nearly J$200,000 has been raised since the campaign started 27 days ago.
"The community is a tight-knit one and they help each other. We just want him to have a safe place to live," said Hernandez, who used to live in Flagaman.
Anyone who is willing to help Hubert Ebanks may contact Rachel Hernandez at 416-219-3215, Lando Ebanks at 876-570-9972 or donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/new-home-for-humble-man-in-jamaica