Coping With Homelessness: Basil Parchment’s Story Part 2

| February 18, 2015
Staff Writer - Latoya Wakefield

Staff Writer – Latoya Wakefield

Social commentary. Mr. Parchment seems to be quite the marvel on a national level. The Jamaica Observer wrote about him twice and people across the nation are aware of him even if they don’t particularly know the true story, Recently I was in a bus passing him by on the highway, a man and a woman were in front of me; the man told the popular tale of Mr. Parchment’s wife getting hit down at that spot and that’s why he’s there. As stated in my prior article, that is not the case.

I also promised that I would tell you why he’s there. Well according to Mr. Parchment, he was house sitting for years and was put out…he always admired this spot that he now lives and so there he decided to stay when he had nowhere else to go. However, I won’t elaborate on why he’s there but how he’s currently doing…

I visited Mr. Parchment last week with a very colourful umbrella and some food I bought for him. He was really grateful for it. I asked him how he was and he mentioned his broken arm that he got a while back. He showed me a yellow ball that someone gave to him to help him with recovery. He also mentioned that he recently visited the doctors and will be needing surgery.

I instantly wished I could put a roof over his head with a loving family but reality begged to differ. We talked more about what he was doing surgery for. I then asked him how he managed from day to day. He stated that people would stop by with food but he mostly had to manage on his own.

“How do you sleep at nights? Anybody trouble yuh? What about the noise?” I asked.

He said he slept with his very own designed paper ear muffs and fortunately no one bother him. He mentioned that it was cold at nights and even though he had two blankets, they do not protect him from the night’s dew. I shuddered, I could only imagine what that felt like.

Photo courtesy Latoya Wakefield

Photo courtesy Latoya Wakefield

We chatted for a bit. I found out that he was hilarious and independent minded. Before I left, I asked what he spent most of his time thinking about and he stated that he wondered how he got here and he’s worried yet he doesn’t show such feelings. He went on to say, if it wasn’t for God, he might have ended his own life. I was moved as he spoke more about God. What touched me was that he still believed in God even though his conditions said otherwise. He is a true example of living by faith and not by sight….I bid Mr. Parchment later and as I moved from him, he went back to staring into the distance and I somehow felt God’s presence.

NEXT TIME: For my next article, I will tell you about my findings as I try to find Mr. Parchment a shelter and steady supply of food.

Photo courtesy Latoya Wakefield

Photo courtesy Latoya Wakefield


Photo courtesy Latoya Wakefield

Photo courtesy Latoya Wakefield


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