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Service organization considering help for Freeman

Franklyn freeman

The senior citizen who has been living in the lobby at Peebles Hospital for over two months after his home was damaged by Hurricane Irma could be getting help to return home.

Delma Maduro, District Governor for the Rotary Club of Tortola, said Franklyn Freeman has been placed high on the club’s list of persons likely to receive help in the short term.

“We were recently made aware of the situation and we are going to assess the situation and make a decision. I couldn’t make a commitment to say how soon because there were a lot of persons in line before him. Of course, his situation is a little bit more pressing because he is in the hospital lobby,” said Maduro.

On Tuesday, BVI News Online broke the story with the senior citizen stating that government officials continue to turn a blind eye to his plight.

The man, who is a dialysis patient, said he went to the hospital after the September 6 hurricane and has been there since; unable to go home because of the damage to his home.

There is no word yet as to whether any government officials have stepped in to assist.

Limited Funds

Meanwhile, the Rotary Club District Governor said when the assessment is done on Freeman’s home, once the repair cost is within budget, he will likely receive the help needs.

She said the club currently has a $200,000 budget which it plans to use to repair some 50 galvanized roofs.

“We are not in a capacity to undertake anything that is complicated as we are dealing with very simple repairs. This would mean simple structures, not concrete roofs because we don’t have the bandwidth to deal with anything that’s complicated.”

“So, if the situation [Freeman’s] is a relatively simple situation I am sure that we would address it. So, I will follow up with the housing team because I know it recently came to our attention,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Maduro said the club is in the process of raising funds to repair more roofs, and welcome any donation.

“We are hoping to get materials donated so that we don’t have to spend too much money on materials. If we are able to get materials it means that we will be able to do more.”

So far, some 10 families have received assistance to repair their roofs and another 20 are under consideration, Maduro said.

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