There was an outpouring of support yesterday for single parent Saidah Long who expressed fears of becoming homeless with her three children due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Long’s plight was highlighted in the Sunday Guardian which pulled at the heartstrings of several people including businessman Gary Aboud, Arima Mayor Lisa Morris-Julian and chairman of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Kwasi Robinson.
Long had to give up her job as a labourer on a farm following Government’s Stay-at-Home measures in March to look after her three children whose ages range from seven to one year at her Daniel Trace, Arima, one-bedroom apartment.
With no income coming in, Long, 39 has been unable to pay her $1,000 a month rent.
She appealed to her landlord to sign the rental assistance grant offered by the Government to mitigate her financial challenges during the crisis but he bluntly refused.
Long has been surviving on a $550 food card which barely feeds her family.
She applied for public housing 19 years ago and was recently allocated an apartment in Maloney by the Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
HDC’s corporate communications manager Dike Noel said once the Stay-at-Home measures are relaxed, a crew will refurbish her apartment.
Yesterday, Long thanked Guardian Media for publishing her hardships, stating that the response from the public has been overwhelming.
“Several people called offering to assist financially and otherwise. In the midst of this pandemic, there are still good people out there. I cannot thank them enough. It brought tears to my eyes this morning. I have been longing for a day like this. I can’t wait to move out of here and into Maloney to rebuild my life with my children who have been suffering.”
She said among those who offered a helping hand was Morris- Julian who promised to pay this month’s rent.
Long lives in Morris Julian’s electoral district of Arima Central.
Long said Morris-Julian personally dropped off a few hampers for which she was grateful while she offered to provide her with counselling.
“After listening to the problems she has been enduring she needs therapy. She has had a tough life. I felt her pain,” Morris-Julian said.
Aboud promised to donate to Long bed sheets, blankets, kitchen towels, mats, cups and plates valued $1,500 in addition to financial aid.