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Homelessness robs man of Christmas cheer

Published:Tuesday | December 28, 2021 | 12:07 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Chuck Dillion sits on a bench under the bus stop in Cross Roads, St Andrew, where he has called home for the last eight years.
Chuck Dillion sits on a bench under the bus stop in Cross Roads, St Andrew, where he has called home for the last eight years.

Chuck Dillion has not had a normal Christmas for eight years, however, this year, the season has been one of reflection for the 42-year-old homeless man as he ponders who will bring some cheer.

Taking up residence at the Cross Roads bus stop for close to a decade, Dillion,has not seen a normal Christmas all these years. His reflective demeanour was on full display as he sat on the Cross Roads bus stop bench on Christmas Day with his small backpack containing all his belongings beside him waiting to see if someone would just pass by with some food for himself and five other homeless persons.

Dillion was born in Glengoffe, St Catherine, and dropped out of the Glengoffe Secondary School one year before graduation. He enjoyed a normal life until his father and his stepmother, who raised him, migrated to the Bahamas when he was in his mid-teens.

“My mother left me early, and I did not see her again, but it was all good for me because my father met another woman, who became my stepmother. While both my father and my stepmother were living in Jamaica, I had a decent life growing up. I enjoyed Christmas dinner, cake, and Christmas gifts, but everything got worse after I went to live in the Bahamas with my parents and was forced to return to Jamaica,” Dillion told The Gleaner.

He continued, “I was not able to live and work in the country because I didn’t have papers, so I came back and was living at my stepmother’s house in Glengoffe. Things changed when my father broke up with her.”

Dillion said his stepmother suddenly told him that he could not live in her house any longer, so he made the decision to move to Kingston.

“Since I came to Kingston, I have been living right here in Cross Roads, doing odd jobs but not able to save enough money to rent a room because the little I get from working I had to buy food and other things I need, so I am unable to save anything. This Christmas is really bad for me as I sit here not having food to eat and not knowing if I will get any,” the homeless man added, reminiscing on how much he missed the days when he used to have much to eat at Christmas.

Dillion, who completed grade ten at the Glengoffe Secondary School, said he would love to do something permanent like getting employed as a private security guard, but in the meantime, he is willing to continue working as a lawn-service worker if someone would give him a steady job.