The following press release from J-FLAG refers to the eviction of a group of homeless gay men from a house in Kingston this week. You may find the link on their website at http://www.jflag.org/2013/07/evicting-the-homeless-is-not-the-solution/. Please share if you would like to. Thank you.
The police operation to remove individuals from a property on Millsborough Avenue on July 3, 2013 is another example of the unnecessarily brutish treatment of the poor and vulnerable who have no place to sleep.
J-FLAG understands these young men have in some instances been disruptive and acknowledges that the police operation sought to apprehend some who are persons of interest. The organisation condemns the unlawful actions of any person, including members of the LGBT community even if they are homeless, and support appropriate actions by the police in this regard. However, far too often, our response to anti-social and criminal behaviour, especially among individuals who are homeless, ignores the root causes of their difficult circumstances.
A number of the individuals who were recently evicted from the property on Millsborough Avenue are homeless because of violent anti-gay attitudes and abandonment by their families and communities. When we focus solely on their behaviour and removing them from places of shelter we continue to ignore the fact that their circumstances are largely the consequence of abandonment, cruelty, and hostility from those who should love and care for them, including state and other social and welfare services.
J-FLAG continues to stress that our collective response to homelessness has been short-sighted and ineffective. Repeatedly removing people from abandoned properties does not solve the fundamental problem, it merely tells them to find somewhere else to sleep at nights.
Advancing the welfare of all citizens is part of this great nation’s pledge, and in this respect J-FLAG is committed to continue working with all stakeholders to develop a comprehensive and sustainable approach to homelessness in our communities.
The government, private sector, civil society, and church must work together to foster an environment that is safe, cohesive, just, and respectful of the inherent human dignity of all Jamaicans. We cannot rest until we create a stable, empowering and inclusive environment for every Jamaican, especially those among us who are victims of our neglect and intolerance.
- The Best Way To Stop Homelessness? Support Homeless & Eviction Prevention Programs (howcantherichhelpthepoor.wordpress.com)
- Anthony Cymerys, Barber Evicted From Park After Giving Haircuts To Homeless For Hugs, Allowed Back (howcantherichhelpthepoor.wordpress.com)
- Charity helping homeless launches campaign to say #NoMore to sleeping rough (metro.co.uk)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/latest/article.php?id=46199 Weeping gays booted from upscale St. Andrew community (Gleaner)
- http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20130705/lead/lead2.html Demolished: Millsborough house torn down after rowdy squatters evicted: Gleaner
- http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Youth-homelessness-is-no-joke_14345267 Youth homelessness is no joke: Jamaica Observer
- Homeless people being kicked out of City Creek Canyon (abc4.com)
- http://www.jflag.org/2013/01/j-flag-supports-police-intervention-in-new-kingston/ J-FLAG supports police intervention in New Kingston: jflag.org (January 2013)
- http://www.jflag.org/2013/06/betty-ann-blaine-must-be-honest-about-child-sexual-abuse/ Betty Ann Blaine must be honest about child sexual abuse: jflag.org
- http://www.jflag.org/2013/06/jflag-supports-challenge/ J-FLAG supports constitutional challenge to buggery law: jflag.org