A homeless mother of three is seeking assistance from the relevant authorities to obtain a house. She currently lives in a storage room with her three children – aged 8 months, eight and 14- years – at Vendors Mall in Chaguanas.
Karlene Moore, a temporary cleaner at Licensing Office in Port-of-Spain, has been living in the storage room for the past five months. The father of her eight-month-old baby left her one month ago, to care for the children on her own. She was forced to move out of her aunt’s house, after being told that her cousins were returning and would need the space. When she visited the Ministry of Social Development for assistance, they told her to apply for an HDC house. With no information on how soon she would be able to obtain new living quarters, Moore rented two booths at Vendors Mall: one she uses to live in with her three children, and the other she uses to sell drinks and snacks to supplement her income.
The room that houses the small family has no running water or electricity. They use the restroom facilities at a nearby restaurant during the day and take showers by a standpipe located on the compound at night. Her 14-year-old son goes to school but she was unable to send her eight-year-old daughter to school since she could not purchase her books and school supplies for the new term. Moore admits that she does not have a good relationship with her family or anyone else who can assist her. Instead, she is asking for help.