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HDC offers help to family living in container (with CNC3 video)
Ste Madeleine mother Louisa James, who is living in a container with her children, says the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) has contacted her to offer help.
The 41-year-old woman said her spirit was lifted when she received a call from an HDC official who said he would review her application file and look into her request for housing. She received the call on Wednesday.
“When I get the call from HDC I was happy... He said that he would get a job for me as well,” James said. “I feeling more light and I not feeling stressed out like before. I was stressed out. I really cry for the Christmas cause rain fall and it was wet inside and wet outside (the container) and my children did not have a good Christmas.”
Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal, when contacted, said he would ensure the HDC reviewed James’s case. The T&T Guardian first highlighted James’s story this week.
The woman and her children—Mikeba Evelyn, 17, Iker, 13, Ily, 12, Joshua, ten, and nine-year-old Joanna—live in a rotting, windowless 20-foot container at the old Ste Madeleine trainline. She said the family moved into the container at 97A Cipero Railway line in 2004, after their home was destroyed by fire.
James said she was encouraged by the public response to her family’s plight. All she wants is a home for her children. “I feel like I could relax a little now,” she said. “Even if I get an apartment I know I would have to work to pay for it, and I am accustomed working. I like to work, I like to work plenty.
“I do not want a handout, I want to get help. I just want something to call my home, for my children and me to be comfortable and rest our heads without worrying.” James said yesterday she went to the Social Welfare office in Princes Town to follow up on her application for a food card.
James described Wednesday as a “blessed day” because of the HDC call and her daughter Iker’s success in school. She said Iker made it to the second round of the Ste Madeleine Secondary School’s spelling bee competition. She said she was grateful to her pastors for their encouragement.
“I felt proud today...It’s a blessed day for me and my family,” she said. “I have to say thanks to my pastor Ramdath and Jean Nangoo from Jesus is the Answer Church in Corinth. They are an inspiration in my life. They always told me do not give up, keep trying.”
• Anyone wanting to help can call James at 398-8850.
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