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Easter dinner for homeless Jamaican LGBT youth

Easter dinner for homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)
Easter dinner for homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

From Jamaica, activist Yvonne McCalla-Sobers reports on Sunday’s Easter dinner, made by LGBT youth supporter Nevin Powell, who also arranged a Christmas dinner for them a few months ago:

Homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica line up for Easter dinner. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)
Homeless LGBT youths in Jamaica line up for Easter dinner. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

Once again, Nevin Powell provided a special dinner for the homeless LGBT youth forced to live in the sewers of Kingston, Jamaica. This time Nevin and a group of friends, including two brother Christian ministers, came from Los Angeles specifically to provide an Easter meal, just as they did last December when they treated the youngsters to Christmas dinner.

The youth, 31 in all, enjoyed the spread of chicken, curried goat, rice and peas, tossed salad, drink, and Easter bun and cheese (a beloved and much-anticipated Jamaican Easter tradition).

After lunch, gift packages containing clothing, shoes and some toiletries were handed out. The youngsters expressed a particular need for shoes, which are a premium item. Those youth who are barefoot often injure the soles of the feet just walking around and most of all jumping down into the sewer. In addition, if they are to leave the sewer they need shoes, and hopefully reliable shoes.

Homeless LGBT youths at  Easter dinner. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)
Homeless LGBT youths at Easter dinner. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers)

Dwayne’s House has been collecting the sizes of pants, shirts, and shoes for the youth and has tried to match these with donated items. However, it is sometimes difficult to meet the specific needs from this source. Nevin has therefore committed to source some of these items in the U.S., which he will then try to ship to Jamaica.

Pastors and others provided Easter dinner for homeless LGBT youths in New Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers )
Pastors and others provided Easter dinner for homeless LGBT youths in New Kingston, Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Yvonne McCalla-Sobers )

The individual attention to the specific needs of these youngsters will help them to feel that they are not forgotten by a society that is often so hostile towards them. This is also a critical first step to ensuring that the youth abandon anti-social survival behavior and start contributing as productive members of Jamaican society.

See the Web page of Dwayne’s House for more information or to contribute to the effort to relieve the desperate conditions of LGBT youths who have been evicted from their homes by families and police. (Contributions from the United States and Canada are treated as charitable donations.)

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Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at info@76crimes.com. Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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