help exchange   Host 12575
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 1 to 3
Category: Other
Host ID: 12575
Country: Jamaica

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Last Updated: January 22, 2017

We are a homeless shelter and rehabilitative day program in Port Antonio, Jamaica. Portland Rehabilitaion Management (PRM) is 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.

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, Great Huts, 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. Breakfast and dinner may be available at the resort, please inquire for more information. Volunteers need to bring or buy their lunch if working at the shelter during lunch hours. Other amenities include access to cable TV (in the lounge) and free wireless Internet. Transportation fee, to and from the shelter, is at the volunteers expense: about USD $1.50 one way. Please note that there is a fee to cover expenses of hosting volunteers.

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