IT MATTERS TO MARIA: In danger of losing his home, job
Eyann Lynch is fearful about ending up homeless and living on the streets.
He recently found employment, but believes he may lose his job if he has nowhere to live. In addition, he is under doctor’s care for a medical condition.
The 32-year-old is on the brink of becoming homeless after being told by his landlord that he would have to leave for non-payment of rent.
Lynch, who works as a cleaner at a restaurant, said he had found himself in this predicament because the Welfare Department, which had been supporting him for a few years, abruptly cut him off when he finally got a job.
“They told me to look for work, and as soon as I get this job, they just cut me off. They didn’t even wait until I get on staff,” he said.
While he was happy that he was finally working, Lynch said the problem was that the pay was not enough to finance his rent and other necessities.
“I get [$100 and something] a week in pay and my rent is $200 a week. I can’t afford that because I still got to eat,” he said.
“The Welfare stop me from off of the programme. I used to get cheques to buy food and they used to pay my rent, but they stop everything just like that. They tell me to go and look for work, but they take me off before I get ’pon staff, and the money I working for is not enough to help me pay my rent. Right now, I owe the landlord $900 and he gine put me out tomorrow,” he sadly revealed during an interview last Thursday.
“I went to the Welfare [last] Monday to see if they can help me pay half the rent but them tell me no. They gave me a paper saying if I want any assistance to come to them and they ain’t giving me any assistance. I even called Minister Steve Blackett [the minister responsible for Welfare] and he was supposed to get back to me. I really need this assistance.”
Lynch held up the document he had received from the Welfare Department dated August 28, 2017.
It read: “Subsequent to your recent review, we regret to inform you that your national assistance grant has been discontinued. You may, however, visit our office to re-apply if your living circumstances have changed.”
He also received a similar letter informing him about the discontinuation of rent payment.
“I don’t want to lose this little job. I need a little help from the Welfare until I can get back on my feet,” he said, pointing out that he was presently on sick leave from his job.
This column contacted Chief Welfare Officer Deborah Norville by telephone and email but up to press time, no response was forthcoming. (MB)