In a follow up to a previous post on the weed whacker income generating project and subsequent posts has in effect led to a donation in the form of a second hand machine. The group of seven men and two women who among other things have been doing creative things to eek out a living via selling small items, juices, alcohol at parties and street dances while juggling landscaping jobs when they come available. It was in December a cash donation came through via a church rally by a church group indeed an interfaith group of sorts, twenty five thousand, $25,000 came in as promised by the group of which I am a sitting member in working with the participants.
See this previous post on that donation: Second time donations from church penny concert/rally for weed-whacking income generating .............
Those funds have since been used to spruce up the existing three working machines and acquiring gas for backup for the participants, most of whom were former homeless or displaced MSM//trans/lesbian persons who were forced to relocate after different challenges came their way from as far as 2010.
The individual donor in this instance who asked not to be named when I indicated I was going to do a post on the gift saw the previous posts in scanning online for something totally different but followed up with a phone call which in turn led to the follow up with the almost brand new machine in good working condition. The 9 participants in the informal project have been rotating three machines that sometimes break down from time to time. Three persons who had left for other ways to turn a buck returned to the project after some struggle. Logistics also can cause an issue although that is somewhat settled as persons time their clients and scheduling so the clashes with persons is lessened. The gentleman who lives in upper St Andrew said he had recently relocated to a new home and found a new machine in his garage whilst unpacking and packing for the move. He was intent on selling it in the classifieds but was moved to donate it instead after he was convinced by what he saw on the blog(s) and subsequent conversations with myself and so on.
I asked if he would be interested in having the landscaping services extended to him in his new home but he hesitated and I retreated in pursuing that one and he also said he has his team of workmen at his old and new residence. A thank you email and letter has been sent to the gentleman and the machine when we checked it on Saturday last was working pretty well. He enquired if the suggested replication exercise into Clarendon had been successful to which I responded that the logistics is still an issue in terms of places to stay outside their regular working geography.
Another such cash donation via Paypal came in just after the Christmas holidays as well with has since been accounted for and converted to the tune of $JA14, 000. Another stash of relevant items also was brought to hand such as rakes, brooms, dust masks, heavy duty gloves and related tools. Those donations were in response to an email sent to selected persons and who responded positively other customers both gay and straight have been pitching in outside of the project effort as the satisfaction in the customer service experience is pleasing. The improved scheduling, the timely phone/text communications with clients at around the time when it may be suspected persons are ready for trimming the verge also helps as customers like the personal touch.
Ironically there has been very little homophobic responses to the participants maybe that could be due to the masculine presentation (despite some skin bleaching) of the assigned males involved and despite the butch identified nature of the two females they are seen as ‘one of the boys’ for all intents and purposes. There has been some encouraging of the males to reduce the skin bleaching business so as to be able to convince clients to have trust and faith in them but that has not been easily received by the fellas. It is refreshing to see something positive in the homeless department that seems to be working without major hitches, lord knows there is an urgent need for some sensible answers to some of the nonsense over the years. While monied NGOs look the other way.
On behalf of the participants in the weed whacking income generating project thanks to all who have taken the time to donate and follow up on the project and allowing the participants to conduct landscape services and the attempted replication exercise is still in the works for Clarendon despite the hick-ups.
Peace & tolerance
Peace & tolerance
Christmas nyamings, donation presentation & MSM weed-whacker project update
Penny Concert/Rally raises funds in part for MSM Weed-whacking Project
INTERFAITH GROUP PLEDGES CONTINUED SUPPORT FOR ST CATHERINE HOMELESS MSM
Homeless MSM populations treated over the Christmas season 2013
BUSINESS DOWNTURN FOR THE WEED-WHACKING PROJECT FOR FORMER DISPLACED ST CATHERINE MSM 2014