We are a homeless shelter and rehabilitative day program in Port Antonio, Jamaica. We are a NGO (non-governmental organisation) providing shelter, food, medicine, and other rehabilitative services to the homeless that desperately requires volunteers to help keep our struggling organisation alive by helping to raise funds and provide care services to our clients in need.
We currently serve 15-20 clients, (roughly one third of the marginalized homeless population of Port Antonio), who have been socially displaced often due to many of the following factors:
• Mental Health Issues (mostly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder)
• Physically Debilitating Conditions
• Displacement resulting from ex-offender or deportee status or circumstance.
• Abuse or Exploitation
We are an NGO charged by the Portland Parish Council, to develop, fund and administer a rehabilitation program for the homeless persons of the parish of Portland.
Our aims are:
1. To meet the basic needs of the homeless persons in Portland; for shelter, food, clothing and medical care.
2. To deliver a Day Time Rehabilitation Program to empower our clients with social and independent living skills and opportunities.
3. Reduce the number of homeless and socially displaced persons in Portland.
We welcome a wide range of volunteers with many different backgrounds. Currently we are looking for individuals with successful non-profit fundraising experience. We can also use volunteers with professional experience in health, psychology, motivational interviewing and recreational therapy. Other very helpful skills include business/marketing, NGO development, grant writing, farming, and sewing. If you feel that you have certain skills (personal or professional) that could benefit the shelter, you are more than welcome as long as you are compassionate, willing to work with marginalized populations, and have good interpersonal skills.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
Workaway volunteers will benefit from giving back to those most in need. Through helping out at the homeless shelter, volunteers will be able to get to know the residents on a personal level, enabling volunteers to lend a helping hand simply through friendship and compassion. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to get to know staff at the shelter, staff at the eco-resort, and travelers staying at the eco-resort. Through all of these interactions volunteers will get to know the true culture of Jamaica while also sharing their own background with those they meet.
Through the volunteer experience, volunteers will gain a better understanding of the many facets of the operation of a homeless shelter in Jamaica. Volunteers will learn more about the functioning of a small non-profit organization, provision of physical and mental health services to those in need, the networking of local organizations to provide services, and the daily challenges and successes that come along with this work.
There are currently 4 staff members working at the shelter on a rotational basis, and between 1-3 or more volunteers. Volunteers should be willing to work for one to six months. We usually ask the volunteer to help 5 hours per day, 5 days a week (schedule is flexible).
Volunteer help is often self-structured based on experience and interest. Common responsibilities include:
• Spending time with the clients (leading recreational activities, discussion, psycho-social support, mentoring)
• Fundraising (supporting current initiatives, starting new projects such as personal outreach or grant writing)
•Accompanying clients on visits to their families and medical appointments, discussing treatments with clients and other healthcare professionals.
• Supporting projects and starting your own (past projects include: building a female dormitory, expanding the vegetable garden, maintaining fruit trees, music therapy workshops, art therapy, and building a chicken coop)
• Administrative tasks (staying connected with local and international individuals and organizations through emails and phone calls)
• Any other responsibilities or projects you would like to take on to support the shelter! Ideas are always welcome.
If you would like to get a better idea of the work that volunteers do, please contact us for more info to shed some light on how we are currently tackling the problem of homelessness in Portland, Jamaica.
Volunteers are accommodated at a nearby eco-tourist resort which provides financial and other support to the shelter. The resort is 10 miles (about 25 minutes drive) from the shelter. Volunteers sleep in dormitory style rooms, sharing with other shelter volunteers. Dormitory units include shared bathroom facilities.
Volunteers receive free breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the shelter. Discounted staff breakfasts and dinners at the resort are also available for volunteers, please inquire for more information.
Other amenities include access to cable TV (in the lounge) and free wireless Internet. Volunteers may arrange to travel with staff to and from the shelter, which is free of charge.
Volunteers also have the option to pay for a shared taxi that costs USD $1.50 one way. Housing accommodations at the eco-resort is $5 a night in the volunteer dormitories, and three meals a day are offered free of charge at the homeless shelter.
Please contact us if you feel that you may be interested in volunteering at the Homeless Shelter and we will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
5 hours day (monday until friday)
In developing countries (Where most hosts are involved in charity work or community development) some of our hosts may ask for a small donation to help the host family or charity (often less then 5 dollars per day) Workaway will allow this listing when the donation goes directly to the family or charity and is just to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay. (This will be clearly marked on the host listing).
We will strictly not allow listings posted by agents, “middle men” or projects who we feel are looking to profit from a volunteers stay.