After years of struggling with osteoporosis, medical and household bills, Cayman born Grace Rankine’s pleas for help finally fell on listening ears.
On Friday, Bodden Town MLA Osbourne Bodden, along with George Town MLA Alfonso Wright, made it their business to personally call in on Ms Rankine after being notified by a Caymanian Compass reporter of Ms Rankine’s situation.
‘When I heard about Ms Rankine’s plight we went to her home to speak with her about her situation,’ Mr. Bodden said. ‘Ms Rankine showed us her unsafe conditions for her and her son and told us how she needed help with finances and somewhere to live by the third of August.
‘Unfortunately at such short notice we could not find somewhere for her to go. We advised her to go ahead and pay August rent and we would help with some allowance. In the meantime we will take her situation to the Department of Children and Family Services to see what they can do.’
Mr. Bodden, along with Mr. Wright, also found out that Ms Rankine was not earning any money and she was not receiving any support from government.
‘We will be taking Ms Rankine’s need for assistance to government to explain the situation. I think she probably will be eligible for an allowance from government but that is not my decision, said Mr. Bodden.
‘I have been in this situation for the past four and half years struggling to make ends meet,’ said Ms Rankine.
‘I have no medical insurance and what little money I had saved has all been used to pay my medical bills.
‘Before I became sick and unable to work, I was living in West Bay paying $900 per month with my son who, although mentally challenged, tries to assist in the best way he can.’
With no other choice at her disposal, Ms Rankine said she and her son managed to rent a shack in Windsor Park for $525 per month.
‘I don’t have a stove, I had to borrow a fridge, I don’t have a washer or dryer and there are no cupboards in the unit. My clothes are in crates and when it rains everything gets wet.
‘The yard is also filthy. When I moved in to the place I had to go out and clean the yard so I could get access to the back of the house. My feet are sore from ant bites, for there are many around the yard.’
Ms Rankine said it was not in the best of condition but it kept her and her son from sleeping on the street for the past four and a half months.
To make matters worse, a vehicle crashed through the chainlink fence and gate that surrounded the small building, ending up inches from the side of the building where she slept with her son.
‘I have been to the Children and Family Services for the past four and a half years. I have explained my sickness. I am seeking the help for myself. I cry morning, noon and night because of my situation. I am a human being and I see they are helping others out there and I see no reason why I cannot get some assistance for me and my son.
‘We are not making a whole pile of money. If it was not for my sickness I would be out there trying to find work. Even in my situation I am willing to do light work.’
Anyone who wants to help Ms Rankine can contact her on 939-5911 or visit her at Windsor Park.