Elderly man needs help to improve living conditions

December 10, 2021
This rundown home has been Roy Stephens’ abode for years.
This rundown home has been Roy Stephens’ abode for years.
Roy Stephens sits inside his dilapidated home.
Roy Stephens sits inside his dilapidated home.
Stephens’ kitchen is in desperate need of refurbishment.
Stephens’ kitchen is in desperate need of refurbishment.

Situated in a little corner of the Scott Town area of the Greenvale community in Manchester is a picture of despair and dire need.

The dilapidated home of 83-year-old Roy Stephens has sheltered him for decades, but as the years progressed, it has been failing in its function. Stephens has little to no means to improve his condition.

"When rain fall me have to go somewhere go sleep... I did buy a sheet of zinc and put it on the roof, but it never do good and the house still leak. Right now in the kitchen better than in the [room]. When rain fall not a drop of water don't drop in the kitchen and sometimes me mind say just go in there and sleep," he said.

But this alternative remains far from ideal as rotting zinc and old equipment fill the makeshift space.

Stephens, who said he once worked at a hardware loading lumber onto trucks and then later as a tractor driver at the Manchester Golf Course, now depends on insufficient earnings as a road worker for the municipal corporation. Though grateful for life, Stephens admitted that he needs all the help he can get.

"I know money is not available like that but any other help I can get, me will satisfy. I never try to give up inna nothing. Whether I have big or small I always just try make myself happy, that is me," said Stephens.

Stephens said that he has tried to secure pension benefits, but is yet to see a payout.

"I go over by NIS (National Insurance Scheme) and a lady full up a form for me and everything was all right. She said in a month time I would start receiving about $2000, but all now. The amount a fare me pay go down there and all now nothing I don't get," said a broken Stephens.

He said that his spouse died 13 years ago and she was "me and hand and foot".


"I have two children but one dead and one live at the Greenvale top, but this Christmas would be two years me nuh see him," Stephens said. "The last time me see him (son) him say him nuh have anything to give me and me tell him not to worry himself because him have wife and children and me nuh have none."

Stephens said that he is willing to work, despite his age, to sustain himself.

"I can't do as much as I used to do when I was 20 years old but I will go along," he said.

But help is on the way for Stephens.

Caretaker for the area, Andrew Smith, said that he learned of Stephens' condition through a friend.

Subsequently, we had a Christmas exercise about three to four years ago and we did some painting, bought a stove for him ... but with the passing of time, roof, zinc deteriorate ...," he said.

Smith said there are ongoing efforts to raise funds to help Stephens. President of the JN Circle Mandeville, part of the JN Foundation, Wendy Freckleton, said that the organisation will be changing the roof, upgrading the home's interior, donating a stove and fixing the flooring for his bathroom and kitchen.

"We may have to rebuild the entire kitchen because it's in a bad condition... But we are counting on the public to give their support. While through the JN Foundation we will be able to cover most of the cost, we will still need additional support," she said.

To assist Roy Stephens you may contact Wendy Freckleton at (876)881-5968 or Andrew Smith at (876)350-2619

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