Alpha Boys Institute
Alpha Boys Institute is a vocational institute serving at risk boys 8 and 18 years old. Children are assigned to Alpha by the Child Development Agency after the child is determined to be in need of services by the family court system. Founded in 1880, Alpha has been administered since 1890 by the Religious Sisters of Mercy, a catholic order of nuns. Alpha offers vocational training in agriculture, music, tailoring, wood working and screen printing. Of the vocations taught at Alpha Boys Institute, music has been the most prolific. Alpha boys have influenced the direction of jazz, ska, reggae and dancehall worldwide. The celebrated careers of jazzmen Jo Jo Harriot and Dizzy Reece, ska pioneers the Skatalites, roots reggae vocalist Leroy Smart and dancehall deejay Winston Foster, aka Yellowman, all began at Alpha. In the words of The Telegraph (UK), Alpha Boys Institute “helped release the spirit of one of the most musical islands in the world.”
The Open Arms Development Centre
Open Arms Development Centre was established in November, 2006. They operate a Day Centre for homeless adults (male & female), which open from 7:45am – 6:00pm, a night facility for existing clients from 6:00pm to 7:45 am. (men only). We also operate a Transitional Housing, a 28 single unit facility called Maureen’s Place. The Open Arms Drop In Centre is a Non-Gov Organization which aims to play an integral role in the eradication of homelessness… They believe that homelessness is everyone’s business.
DARE TO CARE AND DO YOUR SHARE!!!!
The Open Arms Development centre is currently managed by Friends of the Homeless (FOH). The Friends of the Homeless, under the distinguished patronage of her Excellency, the Most Honorable Lady Allen, is a non-governmental, non-profit organization which is committed to eliminating homelessness in Jamaica. The FOH will liaise with Governmental and Non-Governmental Organization and individuals to garner financial and other support.
Marie Atkins Night Shelter:
Over 100 men and women find solace at the Marie Atkins shelter in downtown Kingston, which is run by the Poor Relief Department. The Poor Relief Department states at least a half of the hundreds who roam Kingston’s streets in the day and sleep wherever they can in the nights, are mentally stable.Most are just unable to afford to pay rent. Others are drug addicts and deportees while other have been affected by fires, hurricanes and other natural disasters and have not been able to return to their homes.
Marie Atkins night shelter sleeps approximately 110 person each night, these include many who used to sleep in the St William Grant Park.
Food for the Poor:
Food For The Poor (FFP) Jamaica is the largest charity organization in Jamaica. Food For The Poor Inc., located in Florida, USA, is the largest international relief and development organization in the United States. It is an interdenominational organization that assists the poor in 17 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.
FFP partners with a number of stakeholders including churches, non-governmental and private sector organizations, children’s homes and service organizations throughout the island that deal directly with the poor to fill thier most urgent needs and to encourage self-sufficiency. The work of FFP is funded by donations.
Our goal is to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children we serve through emergency relief aid and ministries in the areas of housing, food, medical, water, sanitation, education, agriculture, outreach and micro-enterprise.
Missionaries of the Poor:
Father Richard Ho Lung was associate pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Papine, Jamaica, when he ventured into the depressed community of Mona Commons and listened and shared the struggles of the people. Father Ho Lung encountered a fundamental problem: the absence or lack of family life and a sense of community. Thus, when the “Brothers of the Poor” was founded in 1981, one of the main objectives was to build family and community among the poor and disadvantaged.
These objectives were to be pursued in two ways: first, by building a community of men–religious brothers and priests–who would live in community, share all things in common, follow a common spirituality and charism with a common ministry of service to the least in society; second, by bringing together the poor (especially the destitute homeless) as a family and forging community relationships with the wider society.
Initially consisting of only four members, the Brothers of the Poor were approved by the bishop of Kingston, Jamaica and the name changed to the “Missionaries of the Poor”. The brothers began their work in a government-run house for the homeless destitute and aged, where they succeeded in opening the consciousness of the public to the needs and struggles of the poor. They continued their work with prisoners, where they helped to bring to light the need for rehabilitation among prisoners, not mere isolation. The community thus began with two successful projects in its early years.
Since its founding, the Missionaries of the Poor have received both papal and episcopal approval for their work and constitutions. Today, the order has over 550 brothers serving in nine missions around the world.