Mother of five Abina Rosales said she’s not a stranger to financial problems but after she lost her part-time job at Kapok Hotel on April 1st, her living situation worsened. She was let go from her job because of the economic impact of COVID-19.
“I knew it was coming,” she said.
“They started reducing my shifts since March 15th and I knew I was one of them to go,” she continued.
Her partner, who works in a car shop, was also laid off as his job was deemed non-essential.
The last salaries they received went to buying food but after three weeks their money and groceries ran out.
“My neighbours brought some plantains for us,” she said.
“Some days I would let the kids eat and I would remain without because I am a parent first,” she said.
Rosales told Guardian Media that she is not a lazy person and has tried every avenue to get assistance but to no avail. Her former company submitted an application for Salary Relief Grant for which she is awaiting feedback and her attempts to get a Hamper from relevant NGOs were unsuccessful.
“My five kids are on the school feeding programme but we haven’t gotten a food card,” she said.
“We called the MP’s office [Colm Imbert] but nothing at all,” she said.
But Rosales’ current situation is just the newest addition to her struggles. Before losing her job she received an eviction notice from a house that is dilapidated with no sewer system and fluctuating electricity. She lived there with her family for eleven years but stayed because the rent is affordable.
“The numbers for apartments we called told us it’s too many of us,” she said.
“One man even told me, miss lady, you don’t need an apartment, you need a house, “she continued.
Something she applied for at the Housing Development Corporation but is still waiting on a response.
“I know that there are a lot of people that need help but I am also one of them,” she cried
“I went with my husband when he had to do a delivery and we saw HDC homes abandoned covered with bush, we doh have to get nothing fancy, we just don’t want to end up on the street,” she continued.
She said she sits with her children regularly and they pray for assistance especially the bigger ones who understand their situation.
“I told them that the bible says that where two or more gather god does come,” she said.
“There are people who would go today and get through tomorrow we are not one of them,” she continued
As she was being interviewed she showed the Guardian Media team her home, the refrigerator and cupboards were empty, her daughter was preparing roast bake and fry plantains from what her neighbour bought and the other children ages four to twelve sat on the floor and watched their favourite cartoon.
“We just can’t afford furniture,” she said.
“We make the best of what we have,” she continued.
She said she had no idea where their next meal would from and going to the media was her last resort.
Anyone willing to help Rosales and her family can contact her at 397-7544.
Asst. Producer – the Morning Brew
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 225-4465 ext. 5561
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“We did not come to fear the future. We came here to shape it.” Barack Obama