The Safe House 2009 Pilot for LGBTQ Youth Explained & more


In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless LGBTQ Youth in New Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project as a solution, the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE also see the beginning of the issues from the closure of the project: The Quietus ……… The Safe House Project Closes and The Ultimatum on December 30, 2009

Friday, December 7, 2012

Kingston Homeless MSM Evicted (yet again) ...........


After the first town hall meeting held in years by the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays, JFLAG on November 7th as planned by the country control representative of Jamaica from the Global Fund with the other major parties absent and the last major discussion on the matter on Television Jamaica's All Angles program as hosted by Dionne Jackson Miller myself and others concerned were relieved in a sense but cautiously optimistic and guarded as to what was being told to us as we knew the previous Safe House Pilot project experience and its subsequent dubious closure has made us the wiser to many things.

The town hall meeting was to have addressed the designated shelter facility JFLAG was said to have secured and had even gone as far as to cost the labour repair bill at approximately $1.5m, they had also decided to go with the facility as is, the procurement of furniture was also said to be in full swing yet the planned opening date never seemed to have materialised which was slated for December 1. A draft of the programme was slated for the ready by November 12th and the assessments to select who would be deemed suited for the facility was slated for November 14th. All of the developmental work and or achievements were to be communicated or disseminated to those in attendance at the meeting as per questions raised by yours truly on the breakdown of the programs and the psycho social activities for the men and other matters.

None of the aforementioned has come as promised by the Executive Director Mr Dane Lewis which is not surprising to those who have had to communicate with JFLAG over the years as follow-up is not one of their strongest features and is a complaint echoed by others who engage the J, 




now a full month after that infamous town hall meeting and 6 days after the scheduled opening of the shelter comes this news of another public spectacle eviction of the men with the authorities involved this time around, the last such one in August of this year only had the truckers/movers involved and that too was filmed and broadcast on television in prime time. 

See CVM TV's previous story in August HERE and More on Cargill Avenue Homeless MSM Eviction

Word has also come that the deal to rent the intended facility has fallen through but not a word was said to most. The planned shelter would have gone counter to the respective town planning codes and no insurance available it was scrapped, all this came to be sans the grand announcement and townhall meeting which to me was foolhardy to have been called in the first place without properly ensuring all was well and signed off on.

How many errors must we continue to see happen with the J's programs personnel? 

How many more such news as this eviction are we to continue to see with this population?

When are the appropriate responses to come into full effect?

Will JFLAG or Jamaica AIDS Support for Life for that matter under whose leadership the previous Safe House Pilot project was set up and controversially closed ever own up to some responsibility with this see-sawing involving themselves and the populations?

Are the agencies really serious about social issues or more concerned about the legal advocacy and the repeal of buggery?

It was just on December 3 that there was another standoff between the men and staff at JASL where one of the men in particular stripped bear before gracing the staff with the colourful Jamaican curse words that there are. Then after the eviction the cops took the men to none other than JASL's office grounds and the cops were there again today. There was also a major clash between a male JFLAG staff member and a member of the homeless group after the World AIDS Day function ended at the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life grounds where a machete was allegedly pulled by the member on the man, the man however left the property soon afterwards. Things just seem to be spiralling uncontrollably. 

Bearing in mind also that some of the present set of males in this very group were once apart of the defunct Safe House Pilot with peer educator training and all to boot and were incarcerated at one point yet here we have this rebellious behaviour which clearly tells anyone objective enough that simple peer educator HIV prevention training is NOT rehabilitation and to pass off such to anyone is flat out dishonest as has been done before when the aforementioned agencies refer to trying other mechanisms to engage the men but they have not worked. 

Can problematic homeless MSM be engaged without the necessary pre-stabilization work first be done before any form of re-socialization is brought to bear? 

Everyone else seems more interested in the lime light of buggery reviews, accepting awards and such at the expense of some dirty homeless men, who cares really? The real work that is needed with this group nobody in advocacy really want to take that on as it won't involve major sound bites or hyped media appearances so the group is systematically ignored save and except for a view persons like me or when national TV stations carry the challenges nationally in prime time. 

Past members of the GLABCOM (gay lesbian bisexual community) committees for example who helped to form the ideas together for the initial homeless shelter back in 2008/9 now look on in shock and are wondering how our work has gone down in vain when such a solution was enacted though problem plagued and poor management but the project as I always say could have been tweaked, things never had to reach this stage.

See some historical posts on this matter from related blogs:

Gay Jamaica Watch

GLBTQJA (Blogger)

GLBTQJA (Wordpress)  

Also see the double murder story of two of the men in June of this year (not a homophobic crime) and my response.

The inherent lack of attention to social justice issues over the years and more emphasis on the anti buggery agenda has also caused the issue to go unnoticed for extended periods as MSM are often only engaged via HIV prevention messaging more so than anything else by respective NGOs.

latest podcast (subject to updates)



The agency has hired 24 hour canine security for their offices, yet again to avoid the clashes within the last couple of days. Please see the Television Jamaica December 6 version of the story below where we get more insight into the various places the men have moved to, remember also to check the homeless MSM tab below for previous entries from as far back as 2009 when I first started looking at this issue from the announcement of the ultimatum by Jamaica AIDS Support for Life at the time and subsequent closure in December 2009. Their voices count too and as Human Rights Day comes with the theme; My Voice, My Right, My Voice Counts it is sad that most times the men get some news on them it is from the mainstream or bloggers like myself and all for the wrong reasons yet JFLAG when it does speak on the issue is usually when it is called to defend itself in a sense or from other non LGBT representatives such as the member of parliament for the area as the video clip will bring to bear.


video


On the blog of the former Executive Director of JASL she shared her views on the Safe House Pilot Project she was attached to and helped initiate with assistance and valuable input from the defunct GLABCOM (Gay Lesbian Bisexual Community) Steering Committee of which I was apart, now you can appreciate my long standing interest in this matter and why I blog the way I have been doing since 2009 regarding the homeless MSM, eyebrows were raised from December 2009 when the ultimatum was given by JASL for the men housed at that facility to move due to uncontrollable behaviour without the possible tweaking and stabilization work being done, the building was turned into JFLAG's office soon after which has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many.


see this post from 2009: Homeless MSM to feel the pinch as JASL issues ultimatum then we started to see the early consequences of the closure: Complaint of "Freaky Gays" Harassing New Kingston .. and Homelessness still a major problem the cracks had gotten wider to the present scenarios. 


click below to see more - 

The pilot homeless shelter programme – the original truth


also see from the June 13th (non-homophobic)double murder click: 

JFLAG’s needs to accept some responsibility for the Trafalgar Murders ….. homelessness not properly addressed


Here is my podcast then on the shelter idea when it postured on national television


Peace and tolerance

H

(editorial note: MSMs has often been used instead of the correct acronym "MSM" as a colloquial expression more so than a typographical error, thanks for the observation readers none the less)

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Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website


Aphrodite's P.R.I.D.E Jamaica, APJ launched their website on December 1 2015 on World AIDS Day where they hosted a docu-film and after discussions on the film Human Vol 1






audience members interacting during a break in the event


film in progress

visit the new APJ website HERE

See posts on APJ's work: HERE (newer entries will appear first so scroll to see older ones)

VACANT AT LAST! SHOEMAKERGULLY: DISPLACED MSM/TRANS PERSONS WERE IS CLEARED DECEMBER 2014





CVM TV carried a raid and subsequent temporary blockade exercise of the Shoemaker Gully in the New Kingston district as the authorities respond to the bad eggs in the group of homeless/displaced or idling MSM/Trans persons who loiter there for years.

Question is what will happen to the population now as they struggle for a roof over their heads and food etc. The Superintendent who proposed a shelter idea (that seemingly has been ignored by JFLAG et al) was the one who led the raid/eviction.

Also see:

the CVM NEWS Story HERE on the eviction/raid taken by the police

also see a flashback to some of the troubling issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless GBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE


May 22, 2015, see: MP Seeks Solutions For Homeless Gay Youth In New Kingston


War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?



War of words between pro & anti gay activists on HIV matters .......... what hypocrisy is this?

A war of words has ensued between gay lawyer (AIDSFREEWORLD) Maurice Tomlinson and anti gay activist Dr Wayne West as both accuse each other of lying or being dishonest, when deception has been neatly employed every now and again by all concerned, here is the post from Dr West's blog

This is laughable to me as both gentleman have broken the ethical lines of advocacy respectively repeatedly especially on HIV/AIDS and on legal matters concerning LGBTQ issues

The evidence is overwhelming readers/listeners, you decide.


Other Entries you can check out

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Homeless MSM Challenges and relationships with agencies overview ........



In a shocking move JFLAG decided not to invite or include homeless MSM in their IDAHO activity for 2013 thus leaving many in wonderment as to the reason for their existence or if the symposium was for "experts" only while offering mere tokenism to homeless persons in the reported feeding program. LISTEN TO THE AUDIO ENTRY HERE sad that the activity was also named in honour of one of JFLAG's founders who joined the event via Skype only to realise the issue he held so dear in his time was treated with such disrespect and dishonour. Have LGBT NGOs lost their way and are so mainstream they have forgotten their true calling?

also see a flashback to some of the issues with the populations and the descending relationships between JASL, JFLAG and the displaced/homeless LGBT youth in New Kingston: Rowdy Gays Strike - J-FLAG Abandons Raucous Homosexuals Misbehaving In New Kingston

also see all the posts in chronological order by date from Gay Jamaica Watch HERE and GLBTQ Jamaica HERE

GLBTQJA (Blogger): HERE

see previous entries on LGBT Homelessness from the Wordpress Blog HERE

Newstalk 93FM's Issues On Fire: Polygamy Should Be Legalized In Jamaica 08.04.14



debate by hosts and UWI students on the weekly program Issues on Fire on legalizing polygamy with Jamaica's multiple partner cultural norms this debate is timely.

Also with recent public discourse on polyamorous relationships, threesomes (FAME FM Uncensored) and on social.

Popular Posts

RJR - Surprise Yes vote by Ja on Sexual Orientation Removal from Summary Executions Resolution

Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller has Arlene Harrison Henry and Maurice Tonlinson on Human RIghts Day 2012 on the the removal of language in the form of sexual orientation on the Summary Executions UN Resolution - On November 21, 2012, Jamaica voted[1] against resolution A/C.3/67/L.36 at the United Nations condemning extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions which urges States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation

Homeless MSM evicted from Cargill Avenue (evening edition)



28/08/12 CVM TV again rebroadcast a story of homeless MSM and the deplorable living conditions coupled with the almost sensationalistic narrative of the alleged commercial sex work the men are involved in. Gay Jamaica Watch has been following this issue since 2009 when the older populations of MSMs who were for the most part displaced due to forced evictions and homo negative issues and their re-displacement by agencies who on the face of it refused to put in place any serious social interventions to assist the men to recovery CLICK HERE for the CLIP

Information, Disclaimer and more

Not all views expressed are those of GJW

This blog contains pictures and images that may be disturbing. As we seek to highlight the plight of victims of homophobic violence here in Jamaica, the purpose of the pics is to show physical evidence of claims of said violence over the years and to bring a voice of the same victims to the world.

Many recover over time, at pains, as relocation and hiding are options in that process. Please view with care or use theHappenings section to select other posts of a different nature.


Not all persons depicted in photos are gay or lesbian and it is not intended to portray them as such, save and except for the relevance of the particular post under which they appear.

Please use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.

God Bless


Other Blogs I write to:
http://glbtqjamaica.blogspot.com/
http://glbtqja.wordpress.com
Recent Homophobic Incidents CLICK HERE for related posts/labels from glbtqjamaica's blog & HERE for those I am aware of.

contact:
lgbtevent@gmail.com

Steps to take when confronted by the police & your rights compromised:

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tense

d) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violated

i) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions


j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it
glbtqjamaica@live.com

Notes on Bail & Court Appearance issues

If in doubt speak to your attorney

Bail and its importance -
If one is locked up then the following may apply:

Locked up over a weekend - Arrested pursuant to being charged or detained There must be reasonable suspicion i.e. about to commit a crime, committing a crime or have committed a crime. There are two standards that must be met:
1). Subjective standard: what the officer(s) believed to have happened

2). Objective standard: proper and diligent collection of evidence that implicates the accused To remove or restrain a citizen’s liberty it cannot be done on mere suspicion and must have the above two standards

 Police officers can offer bail with exceptions for murder, treason and alleged gun offences, under the Justice of the Peace Act a JP can also come to the police station and bail a person, this provision as incorporated into the bail act in the late nineties

 Once a citizen is arrested bail must be considered within twelve hours of entering the station – the agents of the state must give consideration as to whether or not the circumstances of the case requires that bail be given

 The accused can ask that a Justice of the Peace be brought to the station any time of the day. By virtue of taking the office excluding health and age they are obliged to assist in securing bail

"Bail is not a matter for daylight"

Locked up and appearing in court:
 Bail is offered at the courts office provided it was extended by the court; it is the court that has the jurisdiction over the police with persons in custody is concerned.

 Bail can still be offered if you were arrested and charged without being taken to court a JP can still intervene and assist with the bail process.

Other Points of Interest:
 The accused has a right to know of the exact allegation

 The detainee could protect himself, he must be careful not to be exposed to any potential witness

 Avoid being viewed as police may deliberately expose detainees

 Bail is not offered to persons allegedly with gun charges

 Persons who allegedly interfere with minors do not get bail

 If over a long period without charge a writ of habeas corpus however be careful of the police doing last minute charges so as to avoid an error

 Every instance that a matter is brought before the court and bail was refused before the accused can apply for bail as it is set out in the bail act as every court appearance is a chance to ask for bail

 Each case is determined by its own merit – questions to be considered for bail:

a) Is the accused a flight risk?
b) Are there any other charges that the police may place against the accused?
c) Is the accused likely to interfere with any witnesses?
d) What is the strength of the crown’s/prosecution’s case?


 Poor performing judges can be dealt with at the Judicial Review Court level or a letter to the Chief Justice can start the process


Human Rights Advocacy for GLBT Community Report 2009

What Human Rights .............

What are Human Rights?

By definition human rights are our inalienable fundamental rights. Inalienable means that which cannot be taken away. So our human rights are bestowed upon us from the moment we are born and, thus we are all entitled to these rights. Because we are entitled to our human rights and they cannot and should not be taken away from us, we as a people must strive to protect them, government should protect them and breaches of our rights should be highlighted and addressed appropriately.

Human rights are the same for everyone irrespective of colour, class or creed, and are applicable at both the national and international level. In Jamaica, our human rights are enshrined in and protected by our Constitution. Internationally, there have been numerous laws and treaties enacted specifically for the protection of human rights.

Milestone document

Most notably of these is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is seen as a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was proclaimed by the United Nations, in 1948, as a common standard of achievements for all nations, and sets out the fundamental human rights to be universally recognised and protected.

The Declaration sets out the following rights:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Equality before the law

Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

(1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Everyone has the right to freedom of movement

Everyone has the right to a nationality.

(1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.

(2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.

(3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.

(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.

(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.

(2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.

(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;

Everyone has the right to education.

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.