Homeless left stranded in tropical storm
By Anesta Henry
While many Barbadians were fortunate to be able to shelter from the heavy showers and strong winds that descended on the island today, there were some who had no place to go, nothing to eat and no chance at comfort.
The sight of homeless men and women in The City today as tropical storm Matthew passed was difficult to see. A roving Barbados TODAY team stopped and chatted with about four men and one woman who huddled under the eaves of the United Insurance building on Lower Broad Street, St Michael.
One man, Rodney Maynard visibly trembled while pressing his body onto the building as the rain grew heavier and invaded his space. He seemed barely able to stand. Maynard cried that he simply had no where to go out of the elements.
The group said they were cold and had no place to rest and had not eaten a meal since yesterday. They were expecting to receive their customary meal at the Salvation Army on Reed Street but it was closed.
Calvin Soleyn said he had his last meal yesterday at a public event held in Jubilee Garden.
Soleyn told Barbados TODAY being exposed to the elements was a very difficult and uncomfortable feeling, but making the effort to get whatever little shelter was possible was, “better than walking around in the rain and getting wet.”
“It is not easy, but we trying to see what shelter we could get here. We would get food from Salvation Army but them close today. So we just here,” Soleyn said.
Sitting next to 78-year-old Soleyn was his friend Delroy Sobers who has also been homeless for quite sometime. He too said that his last meal was yesterday afternoon. Sobers told Barbados TODAY that receiving something to eat and some place warm to stay at least until the storm passed would make his day.
“But I got to live with it for now,” Sobers said.
Daphne Jordan, the only female in the group, did not have much to say but indicated that her body was feeling cold.
The group said no one had visited them and given any indication as to how their plight might have been eased with the imminent adverse weather.
The Barbados TODAY team had earlier noticed at least one establishment on Suttle Street, not far from their location, which was open for business. They were each given enough money to buy a meal and directed to the business place.
But not all seem discomforted. While these five waited for a break in the weather to head to Suttle Street, two other street dwellers slept soundly at the doors of two other businesses at the building complex, apparently oblivious to everything that was transpiring around them. (AH)