NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 15, 2018) — The Ministry of Community Development officially handed over the keys to a new dwelling house at Spring Hill to Mr. Joseph Belgrave, on Thursday, June 14, 2018, as part of the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Community Housing Assistance Programme.
Mr. Belgrave whose previous home was gutted by fire, had since taken up residence in a small wooden structure before his living condition was brought to the attention of the Department of Community Services. An assessment was done and the decision was taken to have a house constructed for him.
Mr. Belgrave who was visibly humbled by the gesture, expressed his gratitude after he was presented with the keys to a new home by Hon. Eric Evelyn, Minister responsible for Social Development.
“Thank you. I say thanks to God Almighty who made sure that this could happen. Thanks for the company and thanks to everyone,” he said.
Mr. Evelyn praised staff at the Ministry of Social Development for their work as they continue to assist members of society who are in need.
“I’m delighted that the Ministry of Social Development could have once again come to the aid and assistance of one of our vulnerable citizens here on the island of Nevis. The ministry is a very caring ministry, the government is a very caring government and that is why we look out for the poor and vulnerable in our society.
“I must say kudos to the Department of Social Services, they have been doing an outstanding job,” he said.
Mr. Evelyn stated that there are other vulnerable persons from different communities on the island who would receive assistance and he asked for their patience.
Ms. Joyce Moven, Deputy Director at the Department of Social Services explained Mr. Belgrave’s situation at the time, met the criteria for a new home.
“We do our assessments and look at the most vulnerable in our society before any form of assistance is given… [and] Mr. Belgrave fit the category of someone who was vulnerable and in need.
“We recognized that Mr. Belgrave in his then living condition was very susceptible to shock, and we know we live in the tropic area, where hurricanes also increase his vulnerability. Hence the reason why we started this structure that he now calls his home,” she said.
The house was constructed by Mr. Kenneth Ferguson
Hon. Alexis Jeffers, Area Representative for the Parish of St. James, Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams former minister responsible for Social Development, and Ms. Lorraine Archibald, Coordinator at the Department of Gender Affairs were instrumental in the project.
Other remarks were made by Mr. Keith Glasgow, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development. Pastor Ron Daniel delivered the blessing while Mrs. Shelly Liburd, who oversees community housing assistance projects, gave the opening remarks.