Two elderly brothers living in squalor at Holder’s Hill, St James are in dire need of assistance.
Carl Marshall, 72, who is caring for his 70-year-old deaf and dumb disabled brother Frank Marshall, said they have been calling the rotted structure home for many years.
When a Barbados TODAY team visited them it was evident that the structure which residents in the area referred to as “a hole” is unsafe and unsuitable for humans.
“You see under there, the rain coming down from through there and it blowing right through the place. It got a couple of holes where I does lay down and the water does come through. I got a black plastic that I would put over me and my brother if the rain coming through,” he said.
Carl said it has been several years since he has been appealing for assistance with repairing the structure which also has rotted floorboards, an outside toilet and other structural and unsanitary issues.
“I need help. You could see that I need a floor. I need a house. To explain this will be real difficult because it is happening. When the house was good I wasn’t getting wet,” he said.
He said they barely manage to survive on his brother’s disability benefit from Government, his small pension, and whatever little kindhearted neighbours give. Carl returned to Barbados in the 80s from Canada to take care of his brother after their parents died.
He promised that he would never leave his brother’s side.
“I got to take care of my brother. I got my brother here so I can’t really think about Canada anymore, I got to think about me and he. He is my brother and I have to do this.”
However, Carl said that while he knows the Government is struggling to lead the country through an economic crisis, he is appealing to those who may be able to help, to do so with contributions of lumber and other building materials to bring the structure to a more suitable standard.
He explained that the house was extensively damaged by a storm in the 1980s and years later, he made the attempt to rebuild the house but only got as far as the unfinished foundation.
Carl said he can’t say how long he has been appealing to authorities for help but he noted that people came, took pictures, and often promised to assist but never returned.
The elderly man who said he owns the property, made it clear that he did not expect a finished house to be handed to him. He said that he is willing to assist with the rebuilding process.
“I would like a floor that I could roll in my brother on a wheelchair. He can’t walk properly. He come out here on his bum and I would lift him. It hurts me to lift him because he was walking before. I does have to lift he inside the toilet and lift he there [to the pipe] to wash out he mouth. Then I put him there and he creeps back inside. What I would like is a concrete floor with some siding. I might get a couple of bricks. Whatever they could do I would thank them very much for it.
“If I had the money I would have my house up already but money ain’t coming in. The couple dollars I have is to pay bills. I have to pay the fella about $90 to $100 for the light system. I got to pay for the garbage and sewerage bill there and then the money done. When the front blow down I build up this [foundation] in the 90s,” he said.
Efforts to contact Member of Parliament for St James Central Kerrie Symmonds, and Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs Cynthia Forde, proved futile.
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