Germaine Felix is caught in limbo with the Welfare Department, the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and a landlord who wants her out of her house now.
She claims that this morning when she went to the Welfare Department to ask for assistance to acquire food and school supplies for her children, she was told that her plight could not be heard until September 23. Her initial appointment for August 26 was cancelled due to the passage of Tropical Storm Dorian.
“I even fill out a paper to get uniform for them this morning. But because the lady tell me I got to come back, them can’t go to school when school open because I don’t have nothing for them.
“If I got to wait until the 23rd school wouldn’t be opened already? I supposed to get a food voucher but I got to wait all until the 23rd and I ain’t got nothing home for them to eat,” she said.
In addition to not having food in her house, the utilities have been turned off because Felix has been unable to pay her bills.
Then, earlier this month, Felix received yet another notice from her landlord giving her and the children 14 days to get out the house.
But, the St Lucia-born who contended she has nowhere to go with her children who were born in Barbados said that while she was sent to the NHC to fill out an application form weeks ago, she was told that no housing was available.
She said officials at the Welfare Department told her to find a house and they would make the effort to assist her in paying the rent.
However, according to Felix, she was not finding any potential landlord who was willing to enter an agreement with the Welfare Department.
“It is hard for me to get a house. I went to a gentleman and he said welfare does take too long with the rent money and he don’t want to wait. But I still looking around. I just need a house to get out of here. I ain’t got no water, I ain’t got no light.
“I got to be going at people and asking them for water. The truth is I don’t want help all the time, it is until I get back on my feet. As long as I get through, I will give somebody else that really need help. I just need the help,” she said.
It was in July when Barbadians became familiar with Felix’s urgent appeal for assistance after she declared that the owners of the King Street, City house had given her an eviction notice because she owes thousands of dollars in rent.
At that time, the cleaner said she was struggling to feed and clothe her three children, aged 17, nine, and eight, because her just over BDS$100 per week wage was barely helping her to make ends meet.
The mother had admitted that she had been unable to pay her $800 monthly rent and other bills since the father of her two younger children, who signed the contract to rent the house, left days after they moved in on March 1, and had not been giving her any money to assist with running the household.
“I just want to get out of here. You can’t wash no dishes, you can’t bathe, you can’t use the bathroom, the light turn off this morning. If I could have done better I wouldn’t be in this position. NHC saying they don’t have any house but people still going and getting help. I stressed and the children taking on the stress too,” Felix said.
“Every minute them asking me ‘you get somewhere mummy? If you don’t get somewhere we will be on the road’. Every minute them peeping to see if the landlord coming to put us out. That ain’t good for these children. That could mash up them heart,” she added.
When contacted this evening, an official who is familiar with Felix’s case said that her claims, as it relates to the Welfare Department, would be investigated as soon as possible.