Mum, daughter pleading for new house

Judene Gittens and her mother Jennifer Gittens are appealing for assistance in getting a new house for their family.

Judene, who works for just over $400 a month as a cleaner, said their small wooden home at Woodbourne, St Philip, has no indoor or outdoor bathroom facilities and was damaged by Hurricane Elsa two years ago.

She has been informed by officials that it was unsuitable for her three grandchildren, one of which is a newborn.

Both mother and daughter broke down in tears as they said they were fearful the Child Care Board will take away the two grandchildren aged five and 11 years, who Judene said she raised from the time they were toddlers.

“The Child Care Board tell me that my house is unsuitable,” Judene, 49, said, adding that social workers at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital also informed her that the baby of her 20-year-old daughter, who was born seven days ago, could not be released to those living conditions.

“They plan to take away her child because of the bad conditions. We don’t have no facilities or nothing, so they say the baby cannot come home here. They threatened to take away the baby and the Child Care Board has to get involved,” she cried.

Even though her daughter has a disability, Judene said it will break her heart if the baby, her first child, is taken away.

“She is not going to have any bus fare to go and visit the baby every day. I know what to do; I can teach she the things that she has to do with the baby,” Judene said.

Of the house, she said her grandfather paid rent for the land but the owners had since passed away. “My mother is 71 and she has been living here for 71 years.”

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