Destitute man to receive house ahead of Food For The Poor Jamaica’s 5K
BY AINSWORTH MORRIS
Sunday Observer writer
For the last 13 years, Berris Mighty has endured more hardship than any man should bear. His is a story of poverty, homelessness, trauma and despair. But the man from Redwood, St Catherine, harboured a mighty hope that one day his living conditions would improve.
That day arrived with the helping hand of Black Ink Marketing Solutions Limited which donated the funds to Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica to construct a two-bedroom house for Mighty and his family.
Executive Director David Mair shared that: “The charity plans to construct 100 houses for the less fortunate through funds raised from its upcoming 5K Run/Walk event on Saturday, May 13,” so that more persons such as Mighty, can realise their dream of having a comfortable place to call home.
According to Mighty, he has always tried to live an honest life, but things started getting bad for him when his foot was broken in a car crash in 2004.
“Mi used to work and live on a fowl farm in Bog Walk, because di people dem who me did a work for have a place fi dem workers stay. One evening after work, mi go shop go buy someting to eat and I was riding a bicycle. On my way back from the shop I got hit by a car, and things start get worse from dere so. After mi take the cast off mi foot, di people dem fi di place seh mi need fi find somewhere to go, because I am not working for dem anymore, as mi foot did bruk. Mi lose di work,” Mighty said in an interview recently.
He said one day when he left the premises and was in search of a new place to live, he was evicted.
“When mi did a check if mi could get anywhere to stay, rain start fall and yuh see when me go back in di evening, mi come find mi tings dem outside. Rain wet up everyting, even the food weh mi cook! Mi come back and water in di pot dem,” he recalled.
He said at that point he took to the streets with his girlfriend, who vowed to stay with him.
“During dem time deh, tings gone from bad to worse with me. Mi have to a sleep pan di roadside. Mi and mi woman a sleep pan di roadside,” he said before breaking down in tears.
“Mi all tell her seh fi go back to her mother, but she seh she nah leave me alone ina dem condition de. Anyting happen, just happen, she seh. So we affi sleep pan di roadside fi over one week, and is like one night a voice seh to me: ‘You can’t stay on the roadside any longer, because anybody can pass and anyting can happen to we,’” he said.
Mighty said he got tired of sleeping on the road and started trespassing on properties at nights to sleep in a safe place.
“Mi pull di people dem gate and go ina dem yard and sleep pan dem veranda and a watch fi day, dats dem nuh wake and see we. As day peep out, we go out pan di road,” he said.
Mighty later sought refuge in Redwood, St Catherine, where he now resides under a structure he made from bamboo and ‘wis’ (vines). He was encouraged to apply to FFP Jamaica, whose head office is located in the same parish.
He applied. He was visited by members of the charity organisation and was invited to the launch of their 5K Run/Walk on Tuesday, April 4, when it was announced to him that funds provided by Black Ink Marketing Event Solutions Ltd would be used to construct a new house for him.
“I feel good about it because that now help me a lot. By giving me this unit my things will stop spoiling, like clothes and things like that weh rain keep wetting up. Dem get destroyed, because when rain fall a good body a water rush through same way and mi have to dig out one gutter fi lead out back the water,” the grateful man said.
FFP Jamaica intends to construct a two-bedroom unit for Mighty before the 5K Run/Walk event on May 13, which will start and end at Emancipation Park in St Andrew.
Berris Mighty, one of the recipients of a house from Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica through their 5K Run/Walk initiative, shares the story of his deplorable living conditions with those gathered at the launch of the event on Tuesday, April 4 at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston. Pictured listening keenly around the table are: (from left) Andrew Mahfood, Chairman of FFP Jamaica; Bethany Young, Marketing and Communications Manager, Rainforest Seafoods; Alfred Francis of Running Events Jamaica and David Mair, Executive Director, FFP. Mighty will be the beneficiary of a new two-bedroom house from FFP thanks to funds provided by Black Ink Marketing Event Solutions Limited.