Children & Adults with Disabilities
A majority of our programs in Jamaica focus on the care of children with disabilities. The residents in our homes have a wide range of physical and mental challenges such as schizophrenia, autism, hydrocephalus, Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. Several of our residential care facilities are located in and around the city of Kingston.
At Mahoe Drive in Kingston, My Father’s House is home to a bustling community which comprises a home for children, MSC administrative offices, a chapel, and several community outreach programs. My Father’s House is home to over 40 children with varying degrees of physical and cognitive disabilities.
Sophie’s Place located in Gordon Town, houses over 20 children with disabilities. Sophie’s Place participates in a project with the University of Technology in which the residents attend daily sessions with occupational therapists on the University campus in Papine, Kingston. Sophie’s Place also includes accommodations for mission teams, a chapel and a Little Angels preschool.
In Spanish Town, MSC Jamaica has developed a large community called Jerusalem! The property is located on eight acres and it serves as a residential care facility for over 150 children and adults with disabilities. The village section of Jerusalem! caters to older teenage and adult residents in a setting where several houses make up a small neighbourhood. These homes provide an integrated environment where residents with varying levels of skills and development coexist. Training in construction, home economics, farm work and formal education is emphasized to prepare residents for a semi-independent way of life. Jerusalem! also houses part of our Dare to Care program, a Little Angels preschool, and agricultural initiatives.
Widow’s Mite is located in Murray Mount, St. Ann, and was the first residential home for abandoned children with disabilities that MSC developed outside of Kingston. Widow’s Mite cares for over 20 children.
Additionally, a growing need within Jamaica and a generous donation of land led to our expansion into the north-western part of the country in 2008. Blessed Assurance, home to 35 residents, is located just outside of Montego Bay.
Gift of Hope, located in Mandeville, is a home for children and adults with disabilities whose ages range from 2 to 34, yet the ultimate vision is that Gift of Hope will serve as a home for younger residents, ages 2 to 12.
Jacob’s Ladder is located in Moneague, St. Ann, on 150 acres of land donated to MSC by a bauxite company, and specifically provides care for adults with disabilities. In Jamaica, there are no facilities – governmental or otherwise – available to take care of individuals with mental and physical disabilities after they reach 18 years of age. The vision for Jacob’s Ladder is to provide 500 young adults with mental and physical disabilities with a home where they can live out their lives. Presently, there are over 90 residents living at Jacob’s Ladder and new cottage construction is ongoing and upon completion, this home will have 100 cottages for staff and residents. MSC is taking full advantage of the expansive property at Jacob’s Ladder to develop it as a hub for our sustainable agriculture program.
Children with HIV/AIDS
Dare to Care is our program that cares specifically for children living with HIV/AIDS who have been abandoned as a result of the virus. Dare to Care is the first and only program of its kind in Jamaica, and it is the namesake for our first home within the program. The doors of Dare to Care opened to 7 children in September of 2000 and now cares for over 30 children ranging from 5 to 17 years of age. Our HIV/AIDS initiative now encompasses three homes. The second of these homes, Matthew 25:40, was established in 2002 and caters to the needs of boys living with the virus. Martha’s House, the third home, was established by MSC in downtown Kingston in 2006. The original facility was destroyed by fire in March 2009, and was rebuilt on the Jerusalem! campus and officially reopened in December 2009. In total, our Dare to Care program provides housing and support to nearly 80 children.
Mary’s Child is our program, and namesake of the home, that provides housing and support for teen mothers and their babies. It is one of the only residential facilities of its kind in Jamaica. Mary’s Child accommodates twelve mothers and babies for one year.