As Justin Roopchan and his wife Tiffany Sylvester worry about where next they can safely take their babies after being evicted from their home, the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is yet to respond to the situation.
Roopchan told Guardian Media that his family remained camped at a storage facility in San Juan.
However, they have to move again as there is equipment there, and it is an unsafe environment for their children, Jordan, one and Abby, two.
Guardian Media attempted contacted Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox and communications personnel at the ministry, but there was no response.
Guardian Media first highlighted the family’s struggles on Monday.
Roopchan said since their plight was made public, kindhearted people have been bringing them food, drinks and children’s clothing, but they remain homeless and afraid.
“We got one to two things from people, like food to eat, things to drink and clothes for the children. In terms of getting a place of our own, we still have nowhere. We are in a building in San Juan, but they have equipment like tents and chairs, and they are here. We just got here because of how we did not have anywhere to go, but we cannot stay here,” Roopchan said yesterday.
This year has been traumatic and horrible for the family.
In April, a tenant in their building forgot a pot on the stove, causing a fire that destroyed everything the family had.
Roopchan worked at a wholesale depot in Port-of-Spain, and he said finances became so scarce, he could not afford to pay to travel to work some days and eventually, the buses refused to pick him up. Soon after, he lost his job.
The ministry assisted the family with a Rental Assistance Grant for three months, but during that time, Roopchan was unable to find employment. He said he reached out to the ministry for an extension of the grant, but never got a response.
“When the landlord found out that the grant was up, some lady contacted him stating that he would have to hold on to get his money and asked him to give us an extension. Nobody contacted us; this is what he told us. He said, “Alyuh see what going on. I ain’t getting no money, so allyuh have to leave,” Roopchan said.
That was on August 14. Since then the family, comprising two babies, has been roaming around, living on the streets of Arima, Tunapuna and San Juan.