Rescue Mission Homeless Shelters Open in Jamaica

Serving on the National Board of Gospel Rescue Mission, I recently had the opportunity to attend our annual fall Board meeting. This one was held in Jamaica. Sure it sounds exotic, but for the most part the days were spent in meetings, including the first day of 7 AM to 9 PM.  The reason the meeting was held in Jamaica is that several years ago our national office, along with the support of several US Missions, helped open 2 shelters in Jamaica, one in Montego Bay and the other in Kingston.

The most enjoyable part of the meeting was a tour of the medical & food/meal drop in center and the shelter in Montego Bay. The drop in center is located in an impovereshed area of downtown. The shelter (Refuge of Hope) is located a mile away up a hill.

Of a 3 million population, an estimated 100,000 Jamaicans are homeless. In addition, many of their citizens live in homes of tin, cardboard or crumbling mortar. The shelter was actually started by the government about 5 years ago in a very run down shack of a building. However, the government soon realized that they did not have the expertise to operate homeless shelters. That’s when the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions stepped up to the plate to assist.

Unlike the United States, the Jamaican government supports the Mission, including financially. And they do so with no restrictions placed on the Mission as to sharing faith, praying, preaching, and teaching Bible studies.  In fact, the government donated the properties to the Mission and continues to assist with utilities and providing funds for several staff positions. 

Over the past 2 years, Rescue Missions from the US helped to remodel the buildings and purchased furniture. The shelter is actually several railroad type box car metal buildings (like we have for storage units in the US).  Screened in windows are all they have for ventilation and with the hot and humid weather, the units seem more like saunas. Several board members from various Missions at the board meeting pledged support to purchase fans and air conditioning for the buildings. Our Tucson Mission Board of Directors also voted to send $1,000 to help them purchase ceiling fans for the dorm areas.

The Mission in Kingston (which I wasn’t able to visit) is located in the most dangerous area of Kingston. Unlike Montego Bay, Kingston is the big urban city frought with crime, drugs and violence. People actually drive around in this area of Kingston in pick up trucks with men with rifles and guns standing in the bed of the truck. Maybe it’s good I didn’t go…certainly safer.

Gospel Rescue Missions are located throughout the United States and in Canada. So these Missions in Jamaica are our first ones outside of the North American Continent.

Needless to say, the need for homeless services and drug recovery programs in Jamaica is substantial. Although these Missions are only able to work with hundreds of men, women and children each month out of the 100,000 homeless, at least it is a start. The Gospel is given out every day along with tangible help, hope and love. That is what Rescue Missions are all about and these Missions in Jamaica certainly encapsulate that calling.

Please pray for these Missions and if you’d like to help in some way, you can contact our national office at www.agrm.org

Medical Drop in Center and cafeteria for homeless in Montego Bay

Men and women's shelter in Montego Bay, Jamaica

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2 Responses to “Rescue Mission Homeless Shelters Open in Jamaica”

  • We have a Jamaican in our mission who needs to return to Jamaica and is in need of assistance. Can you send me the contact information for an AGRM associated mission in Jamaica, director, and contact information.

    Thank you.

    Judy Jones for
    David Jones, Director
    Men’s Ministries
    Sunday Breakfast Mission
    Wilmington, DE

  • Kathryn Mooij:

    Thank you for all you do in Jamaica and around the world.

    We are the new owners of Cottage # 2 at the property which has been known as CHATHAM in Mobay. The property has been housing Christian groups for over 40 years.
    We are thrilled and blessed to be able to inform you that we will be continuing the tradition of providing accommodation for families and groups.

    The cottage can hold up to 9 people. Some improvements have already been made and new dishes, cutlery, sheets, blankets, towels and pillows are already in place.

    Accommodation will be available from March until late December each year. As in the past, arrangements can also be made for delicious meals to be prepared for groups.

    Anyone interested in renting this NON SMOKING cottage may contact us, the new owners,

    The Mooijs

    the mailing address is:
    PO Box 336,
    Beeton, Ontario
    Canada
    L0G 1A0

    It is our understanding that two other cottages will also become available within the next few months and so groups of over 20 may still be able to come back to the place known for its beauty and close proximity to downtown Mobay and the airport..

    Please contact us early for further information or to reserve your dates.

    May God bless you.

    K. Mooij

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