Fri | Oct 9, 2015

Portlanders get house keys for Christmas - Supreme Ventures to the rescue

Published:Monday | December 24, 2012
West Portland Member of Parliament Daryl Vaz (left) and his wife Ann-Marie (right) with one of the families that received a house that was funded in part by Supreme Ventures Limited. - CONTRIBURED

Four more families who lost their homes during Hurricane Sandy have received keys to their new houses, built by Food For The Poor and financed by a $3-million donation by Supreme Ventures Ltd. This took place at a happy handover ceremony in Fruitful Vale, Portland, two days ago. One more Portland family is to receive a new home among those financed by Supreme Ventures.

To date, the total number of families to receive this much-needed Christmas gift under the programme is 30. It follows the handover of six of 10 new homes in Hamilton Mountain, St Mary, by Food For the Poor and another corporate donor who contributed $5.7 million. In addition, Food For The Poor has matched these donations to construct an addition 15 houses in St Mary, Portland and St Thomas. The communities in St Thomas, which are benefiting include Johns Town, Pamphret and Dumphries.

Food For The Poor and the corporate donors collaborated with the Portland Hurricane Relief Fund, which was established on October 29, and had oversight for the relief initiative.

At the Fruitful Vale handover ceremony today, Jacqueline Johnson, executive director, FFP Jamaica, explained that the families would receive not only sturdy new two-bedroom houses, but a full range of furniture. This included, for each family, tables, chairs, stoves, beds, mattresses, stoves and solar lamps.

First-hand view

Johnson noted that her early, first-hand view of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy had made it clear to her that housing assistance would be critical. She offered sincere thanks to the supporting donors, to the Hurricane Relief Fund for allowing FFP to continue serving the poorest of the poor, and to the contractors and FFP team members who had worked tirelessly to ensure the completion of the homes. She also urged the recipients to take care of the structures, and hoped they would enjoy them.

Carlene Edwards, Supreme Ventures, corporate communications officer, shared the moving rationale for her company's involvement, saying: "We are thrilled to have partnered with Food For The Poor in donating several houses for persons and families that have been severely affected by Hurricane Sandy. Our contribution of $3 million to Food For The Poor, will no doubt help to put these recipients' lives back together, especially, as we approach the Yuletide season. Upon seeing the devastation that took place after the hurricane, we made a commitment to assist in this effort and today, we are humbled to be on location assisting with the restoration of so many families."