Social Development Ministry, GBV unit intervene to help homeless family

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

HELP NEEDED: The woman and four of her seven children who are now homeless after fire destroyed their rented apartment in south Trinidad on Sunday night. – Lincoln Holder

Officials from the National Family Services Division of the Social Development and Family Services Ministry were set to meet the woman who, together with her children, became homeless after a fire in south Trinidad.

The police’s Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Unit has also intervened to investigate abuse allegations.

The woman, 35, a single mother of seven children between the ages of 15 and two, has been on the run from an abusive man and was renting an apartment.

On Sunday night, the eight became homeless and she is pleading for help from the public.

“A fire officer dropped off two mattresses for us. We are grateful for their help. We have nowhere to go. I have not slept properly since Sunday. My eyes are burning me, and I have a headache. But I am a fighter, so I am not giving up,” the woman told Newsday on Tuesday.

She survived a shooting last year and asked that her identity not be made public, afraid the man would track her down and kill her. He remains at large.

“Today, I called HDC (the Housing Development Corporation) because I applied for a house a few years ago. I called the office for help. They (workers) said they are looking into the matter,” she said.

Newsday was unable to get a comment from the corporation on the issue.

The woman said she bought bread and other items from a shop to feed the children.

She believes that a lit mosquito coil ignited something in their shared bedroom, causing the fire.

On the shooting report from April last year, senior police said the shooter has been evading officers. The police assured they are searching for the man.

Anyone who wants to help the woman and her children can contact this reporter at 607-4929 or via e-mail: [email protected] and the information will be passed on to the woman.