Waiting in vain

A desperate woman who applied for help after her home was wrecked by Hurricane Ivan was still waiting for approval of the claim more than eight months later.

Jullet Green was this week still having to endure primitive conditions in her patched up home in Rock Hole, George Town after putting in her claim and then, she alleges, hearing nothing.

But now, thanks to the efforts of the Caymanian Compass, it looks like it might be good news at last for the 56-year-old who says she has been driven to the end her tether by events.

Ms Green was left with little more than just pots and pans to her name after last September’s hurricane destroyed the roof, ceiling, walls, furniture and fittings at her home.

She was also left with no income when she lost her job as a housekeeper and had to use up all her life savings to get the house patched up and habitable.

All these months later Ms Green still has no electricity and no stove, has to cook outside and has not been able to get her new zinc roof strapped down properly.

Last October, she said, she made an application for help to the National Recovery Fund.

After that, and despite several phone calls she says she made to them, she was unable to find out if she was being approved or not.

‘I can’t understand why other people have heard something and had some help and not me,’ she said.

‘Everyone seems to have turned their backs on me. I am at my wit’s end,’ she added.

‘I have just reached the stage where I don’t know what to do next.’

In desperation, Ms Green contacted Twyla Vargas of the Cayman Islands Recovery Operations Temporary Housing Office, who tried to help her as much as possible even though Ms Green did not qualify for one of the trailer homes that have been brought in.

‘What hit me was the depressed state she was in,’ said Ms Vargas.

‘I could see her situation was desperate and my heart went out to see a woman in that state.

‘She even told me that she had to pick up a bed for herself that someone had thrown out on to the side of the road.’

Ms Vargas went with Ms Green to fill in the form to see if she could get assistance from the Cayman Islands Development Bank.

She also took her to the Social Services Department who proved to be helpful and supplied Ms Green with food vouchers.

Armed with all this information the Compass this week contacted the National Recovery Fund office and asked what had happened to the application submitted in October.

Mayuri Perera at the office said that someone had tried to contact Ms Green to find out details of her income so her claim could be processed.

There had then appeared to be some communication breakdown and nothing had happened.

But Ms Perera explained that the two organisations Ms Green had applied to had since merged.

Because of that she now had access to the other file opened in Ms Green’s later claim and which showed her income was zero.

And on the strength of that they could now go ahead and process her claim, she said.

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