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IT MATTERS TO MARIA: No comforts at this ‘home’


MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

IT MATTERS TO MARIA: No comforts at this ‘home’

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RON HARRIS and his girlfriend Rochelle Sealy are desperately in need of a decent roof over their heads.

For the past eight months the couple and their children have been living inside a shed. Their vulnerable conditions were exposed when they had to seek refuge when Tropical Storm Matthew affected the island last week.

However, now that the weather has returned to normal, Harris, 40, is anxious to proceed with plans to improve the shed for his partner and their four children, including a newborn.

Harris blamed their plight on a tumultuous relationship with his family members who live next door.

He explained that his father gave him and his two brothers the three-bedroom house to live in but warned them not to bring any women into the house because it would cause confusion.

“When we were living by my father we could not bring any women there and when he give us the house he said if I bring in a woman and my other brothers bring in their women it would cause trouble.”

Harris admitted that none of the brothers listened to this advice and when the women came problems arose.

“They could not get along with Rochelle,” he said.

In order that peace could prevail he decided that the best thing to do was to remove his 20-year-old girlfriend and the children from the home and move into the shed.

Rochelle Sealy sitting on a chair inside the shed with her newborn baby girl who she gave birth to two days before Tropical Storm Matthew.

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Rochelle, who was pregnant with her third child at the time, said living in the shed had even then been difficult for her and her two children with Harris, aged three and two, as well as his son from another relationship.

Because it was a galvanised shed she said it was extremely hot and they had to deal with rodents, and flooding whenever it rained.

However, she pointed out that they tried to make it as comfortable as they could with two beds, a television and a stove. They also receive assistance with foodstuff and other items from a friend.

But after she gave birth to a girl two days before the storm, Rochelle said she could no longer expose her family to the situation they were living in. “We need help,” she said.

Harris, a fencing installer, said work was hard to come by and he and his family have been struggling to make ends meet.

He moved his family back temporarily to the house he shares with his brothers during the storm but he said the situation is not ideal because the family is already quarrelling.

As a result, he has started to rebuild the shed with the help of one of his brothers, but a lack of material is hampering his progress.

He is appealing for help with some building materials.

“I would like a few galvanised sheets, some plywood, cement and some two by fours. I can build up the shed but I really would like some material because it is hard out there,” he said.

Anyone wishing to help this family can contact this column at 430-5563 or email [email protected] (MB)

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