Food for the Poor builds homes in Jamaica

Local 10's Jason Martinez to be master of ceremonies at fundraiser Saturday

Published On: Jan 31 2013 01:38:26 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 01 2013 11:00:00 PM EST
BOCA RATON, Fla. -

One South Florida group is hosting a fundraiser as it builds homes in a remote section of Jamaica.

Food for the Poor’s Building Hope Gala is scheduled for Saturday night with Local 10's Jason Martinez as the Master of Ceremonies.

LaMae Klos is helping organize the event. She first went to Jamaica as a tourist. 

“There is a whole other side to Jamaica and I had never seen it before. It's the underbelly. It's people living only an hour away from some beautiful resorts, but they are living in mud,” said Klos.

Last December, she went back to an area most tourists avoid. She and others from Food for the Poor went to May Pen, about 40 miles west of Kingston, Jamaica's capital and economic hub. 

The group wanted to get a firsthand look at the conditions there. 

”They are living four, five, six people to a tiny, tiny little room,” said Klos. 

Allison Venditti was on the trip, too, and saw scrap wood housing. 

“If it's one room, it's smaller than most of our closets,” said Venditti.

Food for the Poor is trying to raise enough money to build 65 new homes in May Pen, similar to ones built in another part of Jamaica last year. 

“It's nice. You have this nice porch and you can envision there will be a little solar panel up here on the roof, and there is a light,” said Venditti.

The two-room houses have a toilet, shower, cooking area, and doors with locks. 

The 430-square-foot houses are scheduled to go up March and should be done and ready for move-in sometime in July. Each house will cost about $6,400.

For more information about the project or information on how you can help, go to the Food for the Poor website.