Nowhere to go

Eighty-eight-year-old woman’s house torn down

An 88-year-old woman and her mentally challenged son were left with nowhere to lay their heads tonight, after the house in which they have lived for virtually their entire lives was today ripped apart as a result of a court order.

Edmunda Gittens of Kendal Hill, Christ Church cried as the sound of metal tools was heard tearing her house down, and workmen dumped the remnants onto trucks, while her personal treasures amassed over many years lay bare in the front yard.

Pastor David Durant in conversation with Edmunda Gittens after her house was torn down.
Edmunda Gittens house after it was torn down.

Gittens, who looked on helplessly as marshals executed the court order to remove her house from the lot, told Barbados TODAY she had lived in the wooden structure since she was five years old. However, the landowners recently served her with notice of eviction.

“I ain’t feel good, I feel bad. It hurt because I here from five years old. Last week I was sick and the one here that [her mentally challenged son] he had to carry me to the bathroom because I was in pain. I don’t know where I am going to go because I ain’t got nowhere and I would be glad for somewhere,” a tearful Gittens said.

The octogenarian said she had six other children, all of whom have families and homes of their own.

Yet, she was unsure where she would sleep tonight, a suggestion that none of the six would take her in.

Daughter Juliette Walters, who was on the scene frantically attempting to rescue her mother’s belongings, told Barbados TODAY that she and her siblings were “waiting for help” from Member of Parliament Stephen Lashley, from whom they had sought assistance some six months ago.

“I made some calls to him since last October but nobody has responded, so this is where it is at right now, and she doesn’t have anywhere to go now. So we trying to see if we could find some place to put her up,” Walters said.

Asked why none of Gittens’ children would take her in, Walters was not inclined to discuss the subject.

The daughter’s position did not sit well with Chairman of the National Assistance Board David Durant, who turned up at the family’s request to determine if and how his organization could assist the elderly woman.

A visibly upset Durant questioned why Gittens’ children did not intervene sooner to prevent the indignity which befell their mother.

“This is the part that I am really disappointed with because only a few days ago I mentioned that I wished families would become first responders when their elderly family are in these unfortunate situations. I think the sons and daughters should really come on board and do whatever they can to help a mother. So that is what is hurting me right now.

“You cannot depend on Government for everything and you cannot depend on the representative for everything as well, especially when there are so many family members around. It is not fair to ask Government to hand feed everybody; we have to accept responsibility for our elderly, regardless of what the elderly mother or father may have done. We have to forgive them,” Durant stressed.

The NAB chairman told Barbados TODAY his immediate concern was finding temporary accommodation for Gittens, as well as a place to store her belongings.

“She has to have some place to stay tonight. Also we are going to have to find some place to store her things because if her valuables are left outside tonight they would be gone,” added Durant, who reiterated his call for Government to provide NAB with land upon which to construct houses for emergencies.

32 Responses to Nowhere to go

  1. Carol Marshall
    Carol Marshall March 28, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    One mother could take care of 7 children but now 7 children can’t take care of 1 mother ….how sad

  2. Mhizzjoan Moore
    Mhizzjoan Moore March 28, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    wtfffff,seriously this woman was on the spot for all those years,i hope whoever this land belongs to that whatever them build on it get destroyed………………an why she children refusing to take her in

  3. Carla Miller
    Carla Miller March 28, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    6 children and none of them can take in their mother or come together to help her find a place to stay. Wow just wow.

  4. Jay Manny
    Jay Manny March 28, 2017 at 10:45 pm


  5. Anne Ince
    Anne Ince March 28, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    This is bad on every level……smh. Her children deserting her, why ?

  6. Roger Singh
    Roger Singh March 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    Let me see. the double standard in this country laws. A person could walk on your land for 7 years and it becomes a right away a woman live for 83 years on a rental land and the Marshall’s could come and put her off of it

  7. Brathwaite-Haynes Joycelyn
    Brathwaite-Haynes Joycelyn March 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Why situations like these cannot be dealt with in a more humane way I do not understand. All parties involved should be ashamed, the children firstly, the Land Lord, the representative for the area, and even the reporter for taking that picture of an 80year old person that is already feeling dehumanized and humiliated. Hope the Senator can help asap.

  8. Ron March 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    Is it fear for politicians to enrich themself off of poor people and when there is need to help the elderly it is a problem with them

  9. Lana Clarke
    Lana Clarke March 28, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Sad more in the mortar than in the pestle.These things don’t happen overnight.

  10. Dennis Connell
    Dennis Connell March 28, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    No one deserves to be treated like this at that.age

  11. Ashanti Padilla
    Ashanti Padilla March 28, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    “The octogenarian said she had six other children, all of whom have families and homes of their own.” Shame on all of them!

  12. Diana Cave
    Diana Cave March 28, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    So sad . This really hurt my feelings . A mother WOW !! I would had to squeeze in my mother at my home in this case . One or the other . The Government cannot attend to every one unfortunate situation As for the LandLord . It’s his land
    During the process of time she was given notice some form of hep should have been forthcoming .I pray and hope she settle In a comfortable and safe environment until the Lord says when . Good luck to you . madame.

  13. gsmiley March 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm

    But Roger suppose she hasn’t paid the people rent for 80 of those 83 years.

  14. Lennox hewitt March 28, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    Well i understand that if u don’t pay rent for a certin time and the owner n come to collect rent for 10 years or so the renter can own it as long no one come to u for rent over 10 or so years ?

  15. Shawn Phillips March 29, 2017 at 1:04 am

    At 88 years old how could 6 children be so cruel to a mother .Don’t matter what she did or if she did something in the past this is the woman that brought you into this world and there is something call forgiveness .You mean all six of you have no heart for your mother .Shame on you all and also to the constituency representative who never took the time to look into the matter but would want to run and assist now for a photo opt .I hope this old lady do find comfort .

  16. J. Payne March 29, 2017 at 2:02 am

    For something to wind and twist through the court does take ‘donkey years’ money should have been saved up by now.

  17. ch March 29, 2017 at 2:49 am

    The only thing we know as fact is that landowners have a right to their land. We don’t know what happens inside families so don’t be too quick to judge.
    I am advising the young people out there- think about your future and understand that you will age someday.
    Get your education and training to equip yourselves to work; set some financial goals including home ownership and look for a proper family life.
    Too many of you are paying foolish rent just to live a party life when you need a few years at home to set a foundation in savings and put a down payment on a house or land. It can be done.
    Stop having children too early when you have nothing to give them. And don’t ever assume that they will take care of you so plan for your retirement and think about health insurance in your 20’s not your 40’s.
    Set the right priorities- put $1700 into a mortgage instead of the latest phone; invest $ 1000 in your own business instead of a Remy hairstyle.
    A lot of older people have nothing to show after years of hard work because they could do no better in those times.
    Some just led lazy, useless lives and are beggars now.
    Don’t let that be your fate.

    • Andrew Simpson March 29, 2017 at 6:30 am

      I had an idea for a private eco-development configuration that would make it much more affordable for such persons to be accommodated but have not been able to get a meeting with the housing ministry, despite efforts to go through the proper channels.

  18. Marva Hunte March 29, 2017 at 6:17 am

    This is a very sad situation. I am supporting Dr. David​ Durant’s position. You mean to tell me that this woman has 7 children and not o e of them are willing to put up their mother until she gets a place. It is so sad. Everybody depending on the Government. The Government can’t do everything thing. The MP can only try he has to wait on the other organizations for assistance. I know what I am saying cause I had a neighbor to deal with and had to wait . The children should be ashamed. Unless they are situations that we don’t know about but still……..Have a heart. What goes around comes around. What you sow you reap. They are lot of children who are dumping their parents . But God sees everything​.

  19. Ejd March 29, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Give her one of the over a hundred empty houses in Parish Land, St. Philip.

  20. ShirlineM March 29, 2017 at 7:09 am

    The Children do have their own responsibilities and in some cases the Children do not have a Job or substantial paying Job to support their house hold and the parent’s home, so hence cannot help financially. Also they may not have the room to accommodate the parent and contents. I am privy to this situation. Julieat is always 100% assisting her mom but presently her house hold has the absence of a paying job and there is a commitment to a mortgage and a school child.

  21. Mel March 29, 2017 at 7:59 am

    All of these comments..talking about she have 6 children and none can’t help …but do ya all know what’s their situations ???
    If they’re financial stable or living on their own?????

    My thing is ……we don’t think about the future just the present..further more we get comfortable where we at and don’t strive to do anything for our selves …..

    Ppl need to look at the life different and stop depending on others..

    However it’s like paying taxes for nothing cause the government always crying out that they don’t have money ……

    Here’s an example…… a friend of mine has 6 children and none of them can’t help her in no way ..cause one is lodging by his girl friend with two children in a one bedroom apt…two is is overseas..the other one lives at someone with two children ……the last one is young and live with her ….so none of these are financially stable and they are now trying to make something of their own …..

  22. Stephen Brome March 29, 2017 at 8:02 am

    These children should be ashamed of themselves what goes around comes around

  23. Sue March 29, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Sad to see that she have 6 children and not one can’t take her in cudear. Honour your mother and father that your day would be long in the land. You have one mother but plenty father’s.

  24. Fabian Gittens March 29, 2017 at 10:17 am

    This is a bunch of folly1….I’m her grandson and I lived with her too,yes she has 6 more children but it was her decision not to stay with them so people shud print the truthinsted of twisting stories.

  25. Mr.Rock March 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I Would have to hear the hold story on how this senior citizen end up in this situation.and I was told a little of the history. Now barbadian, instead of commenting how about starting a go fun me drive to help her secure accommodation.we bajan love to talk but when it comes to action, we gone. Start by approving a bank and set up an charity account. I just give you the direction.get moving.

  26. james joseph March 29, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    What I dont understand is why people are blaming the landlords? Do you people refuse to pay your utilities and curse the utility companies for disconnecting them???? That is unreasonable, 10yrs of not paying rent of $13.00 a month when she has 6 children. i can guarantee that these children pay their utilities on time.

  27. Beulah March 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    A story has more than one side… Everybody don’t think the same way or even about tomorrow.. Sometimes we have options that we don’t utilize….And we focus on the right now… However needless to say My mum is 80 years old and has six of us.. She worked hard and made preparation for this time in her life…. We are not rich but if it’s one thing we are not going to do is to abandon her in her time of need ……I say this to say you get in what you put out.l wish grandma would be accommodated soon.


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