Part proceeds of the Portie Film Festival are funnelled to support social actions such as the Portland Rehabilitation Management Homeless Shelter (PRM). PRM was certified as a charity in 2008 through the initiative of Dr. Paul Rhodes, who continues to be active as Chairman Emeritus and Medical Director for the care of the residents, and oversees all aspects of our daily operations. He is assisted by President Camille Tucker, Vice President Zach Wagner and a volunteer Board of Directors. Day-to-day management of this 24- hour facility is handled by Chief Nurse Administrator Amanda Thompson, JP. PRM is currently the only homeless shelter on the eastern end of the island, serving clients who have been socially displaced by, among many factors:
> Mental health issues (mostly schizophrenia and bipolar disorder)
> Physically debilitating conditions
> Drug use or abuse
> Status or circumstance as an ex-offender or deportee
> Physical or psychological abuse or exploitation
International volunteers with the Work Away Program are housed at Great Huts for nominal fees, and a valued staff of four (with varied expertise in social work, nursing and psychology), work diligently to service and support people with mental illness who would otherwise be homeless. The stigma of mental illness or “mad persons” on our streets – along with those who have no home or family, or lack supportive income – is a pressing issue in Jamaica today. The further lack of comprehensive social structures and affordable housing makes these residents among the most vulnerable in the community. The shelter’s holistic approach to serving its target population makes sure each individual is accorded dignity and respect. Most people come from the streets, others from the hospital, and typically having few personal belongings, they are especially in need of personal hygiene and comfort commodities. PRM’s community mental health model also works in tandem with an agricultural program focused on sustainable self-sufficiency, such as chicken and goat raising and the planting of vegetable gardens. “Healing with the Arts” fosters interaction between volunteers and residents, producing crafts that can be sold at Craft Village in Port Antonio. This promotes consistent activity, creativity and opportunities for the residents to build confidence and social skills.
We invite you to visit the shelter’s website, for details on how you can contribute, or contact us directly at 876-353-3388 if you have any questions.