Gittens rescued

NAB comes to elderly woman’s aid

The 88-year-old woman who Tuesday was thrown onto the street when marshals, armed with a court order, tore down her house at Kendal Hill, Christ Church, has found a temporary home.

The National Assistance Board (NAB) has come to the rescue of Edmunda Gittens and her mentally challenged son, NAB Chairman David Durant has revealed.

Durant told Barbados TODAY Wednesday afternoon that as of Tuesday, the mother and son were placed in an apartment which is being paid for by the state.

In addition, Gittens will receive home care for five days a week, also paid for by the public purse.

Edmunda Gittens has found temporary housing after her Kendal Hill home was torn down yesterday.

“We want the public to know that we found an apartment for her and she is in that apartment now with her son because it would have been difficult to get the son from there because he is mentally challenged. The furniture that was good is also there with her and the NAB is going to provide home care for her to look after her because she is in pampers at the moment,” Durant said, without disclosing the address.

As for the elderly woman’s long-term housing needs, Durant revealed that a parcel of land has been leased in St George, upon which the Urban Development Commission would erect a two-bedroom accommodation for Gittens and her son.

However, the Government Senator expressed shock and dismay that none of Gittens’ six other children seemed willing to look after their mother, but were content to instead place the burden at the feet of the state.

Edmunda Gittens

“What I really disappointed in is the irresponsible attitude of family members and that is a source of discouragement to me because a country is judged by the way it treats its elderly, children and differently abled. Those are three vulnerable groups in our midst. The treatment meted out to them in Barbados is not the best at all. Too many families are depending on Government and that shouldn’t be,” the NAB chairman said.

Tuesday, Gittens’ daughter Juliette Walters was unwilling to discuss the issue of the failure of the octogenarian’s children to take her in.

Nonetheless, she had charged that Member of Parliament Stephen Lashley had failed to respond to pleas for help made on her mother’s behalf 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 had said.

However, Lashley told Barbados TODAY that his office had indeed been making arrangements for the past six months, and that it was as a result of this effort that the situation was speedily resolved.

“There was intervention done by me through the Ministry of Social Care, and as a result of that, that is why the Chairman of the National Assistance Board, Reverend Durant, was deployed to the scene and my personal assistant was also there to feedback what was going on. So it was not a case that she was ever in danger of living on the street,” Lashley explained.

31 Responses to Gittens rescued

  1. Cynthia Blackman
    Cynthia Blackman March 29, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Good news.

  2. Corey Harley
    Corey Harley March 29, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I now feel good.

  3. Julia Robinson
    Julia Robinson March 29, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Awesome ending!

  4. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward March 29, 2017 at 11:06 pm


  5. Ashanda Coward
    Ashanda Coward March 29, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    I dont care what some say, 6 or how many children and no help something is terribly wrong. Terribly, smh.

  6. Jason Greenidge
    Jason Greenidge March 29, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Thing is a government department…court/marshals.. knew about this situation. . And only after the public hear this sad story, another government department wants to come to the rescue. . If these so call public workers would do the “public” work properly this sort of negative shameful story would never be headline news to degrade Barbados any farther.. King David gone he was the leader of this Government. . Time for a change..

    • Ashanda Coward
      Ashanda Coward March 29, 2017 at 11:17 pm

      A lot of wanna problem is this, you all feel the government can help everyone, if this was so I guess stuff like this wont happen. Smh.

  7. Kirt Jordan
    Kirt Jordan March 29, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Mr Durant had to tell the 300,000 residents of Barbados that the already embarrassed old lady is wearing ‘pampers’? No confidentiality, no privacy ?

    • allison archer March 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

      I agree that was so crass in quoting to the press, why was it mention?
      tell me what’s the difference between her children and Mr. Durant?

      • allison archer March 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

        “the furniture that was good” why was that mentioned also, who needs to know what the lady had in her home? these people

  8. Laura Devonish
    Laura Devonish March 29, 2017 at 11:20 pm


  9. Unapologetic Nat BigheavySerial
    Unapologetic Nat BigheavySerial March 29, 2017 at 11:25 pm

    Praise God he’s in control

  10. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan March 29, 2017 at 11:28 pm

    In all this there hasn’t been one report that this lady has said one thing unfavourable about her children. She and only she should judge them, they are hers. Let’s just be happy that she is comfortable

  11. just observing March 29, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    What goes around comes around. I hope that these adult children-and most of them have good jobs-realise that their children are observing how they care about their mother. Trust me, if they live long enough they might encounter the same fate. Everyone waiting for Government to step in and do what they should be doing. Went to school with some of them and they were always well turned out. What could have gone so wrong?

  12. Nadine March 30, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Her children should be ashamed of themselves! It’s not about judging them but having an opinion and that said they should be doing more to look after their own (mother) should be grateful to have a mother! Rant over

  13. Alex Alleyne March 30, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Good news , but it will be great news if her House was taken to St. Philip and put on some of the free land up there in ” squatters paradise”.

  14. Bill March 30, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I am calling on Government to bring legislation to halt this wicked, selfish behaviour exhibited by too many Barbadians who abandon their relatives only to come forward at their death to claim inheritence. Abandoned people should be cared for by the state and what ever property they possess should go to the state as compensation for the tax payers money which was spent to support them. Not one cent should go to the unconscionable family members! Elderly people who possess property and are capable of taking care of themselves totally or with assistance should be encouraged to utilize reverse mortgages to help them to continue to live with dignity even if it results in nothing remaining for the vultures at their death.

  15. bobolee Popo March 30, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Nat said dat God is in control..
    do you know that one of ms Gittens’ sons is a pastor!!

    • Randolph March 30, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Unbelievable that one of her sons is a pastor.

  16. Brewster March 30, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Poor woman got all these children and not one couldn’t help her. Shame on them! I could never whether good or bad do that to my family. Well done NAB!

  17. Straight to the point March 30, 2017 at 8:45 am

    Who would leave their mother in the state but I beat you now that she has a house somebody would want to come and live in it. So the government should make sure that they don’t. You couldn’t help her then don’t come now. The day she passes place the mentally disabled son where he needs to be and keep the house for other like her.

  18. Outside March 30, 2017 at 9:22 am

    I Commend the NAB for stepping in and helping that lady and her son, because it was cold blooded to put that lady out in the street like that,i

  19. gsmiley March 30, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Alex Alleyne for your information there are no more ‘house lots’ left in squatters paradise since the foreign lady took up the last 10.

  20. Randolph March 30, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Why did Durant have to mention that the elderly lady was wearing pampers?he is so unprofessional.

  21. allison archer March 30, 2017 at 11:02 am

    you know when you flipped the coin and examined, I wonder what type of life did Ms. Gittens lived in her youth that would result in this end
    just the thought is making me cringe but I am thanking the Living God for mercy and grace as He continues to extend goodness to all and sundry

  22. gsmiley March 30, 2017 at 11:07 am

    Effect Randolph effect.

  23. Ossie Moore March 30, 2017 at 11:37 am

    How come I don’t see a huge majority of ” bajan religious hypocrite extremists and Holy rollers ” jumping pun de band wagon and praising the Holy Almighty Father for coming to the rescue of this elderly lady ?

    Where is Heather Straker when you need her and also no word from Dr. Paula Estwick who was giving an awesome rendition of George Beverly Shea ” How great thou art ” a few weeks ago when the white couple need help.

    And to add insult to injury . . .her son is a hypocrite Pastor ? Sir you laughing at God ?

    wunna bajans mus be tink dat God bewitch and stupid ! ! !

    As her son de pator wud seh . . . halleluyah Jesus ! . . . .

  24. Sheron Inniss March 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    One way or the other all of us will pay for not honouring our parents. Just maybe Mr Durant was trying to point out the seriousness of the situation. I have been guilty of doing the same but it was not because I wanted to shame anyone. I wanted to let someone know that I believe we have to move faster to assist a friend. I must find a way to get over my point in a different way.

  25. Shawn Phillips March 30, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    These politicians seems to amaze me with the lies, if arrangements as Mr Lashley stated were being done by him why did she had to wait until Marshalls came and pull down the house to be embarrassed publicly for this Government to now find a spot for her .The problem with these MP’s is that they wait until things reach the humiliating part to then want to offer assistance to make themselves look good .All along sometimes years persons are reaching out for help and housing and cant get the assistance but as soon as they are thrown out unto the streets government then finds a house .These leaders are heartless .Mr Lashley knows full well he was not doing anything about the problem but can find time to make it seem that way now.

  26. Shamin Ally March 30, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    We all know how the elderly can be fixed in their ways and deemed “miserable “. If this was the case, her ‘how many ever’ children could have paid the lease on the land, and the others support her. They could have done it without thinking that they are doing her a favour. Just close your eyes and do what what you have to do! Regardless of whatever the problem was there’s no reason why that lease could not have been paid by the children. They could have taken turns or shared the sum to be paid. Landlords have responsibilities and expenses too!

  27. Geraldine April 1, 2017 at 6:20 am

    Brilliant news. People should set up a donation page for this lady. Poor woman, thrown out of her home after all those years, her family should feel ashamed of themselves,, good luck for the future xx


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