Forty-two-year-old Sylvia Graham of Miles Town District in Hanover became one of the latest indigent residents to benefit from a home-improvement project, spearheaded by the Hanover Poor Relief Department.
The domestic worker, a mother of five children, had her living conditions improved when the Municipality recently handed over a 12×12 plywood structure valued at approximately $200,000 to the family. Her eldest child is 22 years old, while her youngest is five years old.
The Department partnered with Councillor of the Chester Castle Division, Fearon DeCarish, and other stakeholders on the humanitarian initiative.
Ms. Graham tells JIS News that she is “overjoyed” in receiving the new addition to her home, which previously only consisted of a dilapidated one-room board structure in which the family resided.
She points out that the additional space means better living conditions for everyone and they are all grateful.
“Now we have a little more space, so things are a little better,” Ms. Graham says.
“To the Poor Relief, I am giving them thanks. They always look out for me and my children. The Councillor, I want to thank him very much too,” she adds.
Ms. Graham also lauds community members who freely volunteered their services to construct the room.
“I got the ply, cement, block, steel and everything you can think about to build the house [and] then it was the community who volunteered to build the house. I thank them,” she tells JIS News.
In the meantime, Inspector of Poor at the Hanover Poor Relief Department, Neika Edram, says the Department was committed to helping Ms. Graham and her children to live a more comfortable life, as the family was in great need of assistance.
“We went and saw the situation. Based on the Municipal’s social assistance funding received from the Minister of Local Government and Community Development and resources from the Councillor, we decided that we will pool funds together,” Ms. Edram notes.
“We had engaged community members, tradesmen, and we started the structure and it was completed from the ground up,” she adds.
Ms. Edram says the Department is aware of the family’s other needs, such as the need for a proper bathroom facility. She points out that this will be the focus in the next upcoming project being planned for the indigent family.
“Personally, I think it was a good gesture and the fact that it is being appreciated. It was a good project and the teamwork was really great,” she notes.
Councillor DeCarish tells JIS News that the Hanover Poor Relief Department and the Hanover Municipal Corporation, by extension, have been instrumental in positively impacting the lives of residents throughout the parish.
The Councillor says that in Ms. Graham’s case, he is happy that she and her children got the help they deserved.
“When it was completed, I watched her (Ms. Graham) look up into the sky and say, ‘thank you Lord, this is the best thing that has happened to me’,” Mr. DeCarish tells JIS News.