BVI News

Bad treatment causing many to shun relief – Dr Simmons

Dr Sylvia Simmons. [BVI News Online Photo)

Bad treatment at relief distribution centres set up by the government across the territory is causing many needy residents to look to alternate sources for help, according to local charity organization, Family Support Network (FSN)

“We have a lot of clients who have lost their jobs, and they walking around [trying] to get supplemental foods and the way the people talk to them, it is so embarrassing that they are not going back,” Dr Sylvia Simmons, who is the Executive Director of FSN said.

According to her, the claim is being uttered by many who turn up at FSN’s new location at the Aeropost building in Road Town looking food and other much-needed supplies.

According to her, FSN is finding it increasingly difficult to help many of those turning up, as it too was hit hard by the hurricane which caused structural damage to its office space.

Concern for Abused

“Our biggest concern is those victims [dealing] with spousal abuse, and trying to find accommodations for them during this difficult time,” said Dr Simmons.

She explained that many buildings that were once used as “safe house” for persons seeking refuge from abusive spouse have been destroyed by hurricanes.

“They find themselves having to stay where they are because there is no way to go. It makes them very frustrated as well as for us not being able to house someone in need for their own safety.”

In the meantime, the FSN Executive Director said the charity is lending assistance to several persons who have found themselves either unemployed or underemployed.

“You have some persons that, if they haven’t lost their jobs, their salaries have been cut back. Most people we have been speaking to average income right now is $700 to $800 a month and we know that is not going to be feasible for them.”


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