The demand for Needs Assessment Unit assistance for vulnerable Caymanians is increasing, with 136 new applications set to be processed this week, officials said.
Premier Alden McLaughlin shared the figure Monday as he addressed the daily COVID-19 briefing.
McLaughlin, who is also community affairs minister, said the 136 applications are for immediate food vouchers.
“Ongoing requests continue to be processed for NAU services. With the immediate focus being placed on food vouchers, 1,681 existing families are now approved for services. Persons who have already submitted an application may call 244-2426 for confirmation of approval of services,” the premier said.
He said government has received 76 applications from work-permit holders for vetting for assistance, three of which came from the Sister Islands.
“Distribution of one-off food vouchers will take place [Tuesday] and Thursday of this week,” he said.
To assist with the increase in demand, McLaughlin said, the Department of Community Rehabilitation has been enlisted to help with processing calls and services.
“We’ve added five persons to this call centre,” the premier said.
He added that the NAU on Grand Cayman can be contacted on 294-6002, and on Cayman Brac on 948-8758. The unit can also be emailed at [email protected].
Despite the boost in staffing, McLaughlin is urging non-Caymanians seeking support not to call the NAU or Department of Children and Family Services.
“I need to emphasise that these persons should not contact NAU or DCFS. They should email [email protected] or call 244-8000 Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm,” he said.
A hotline, +1 800-534-2222, has been created for Cayman’s ageing population to reach out for information and advice.
The premier, in his report from DCFS, said since 23 March there have been 22 child-protection referrals that have been investigated.
“The MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) team continues to be in operation to ensure the safety of our children and can be contacted at +1 800-534-2273 or emailed at [email protected],” he said.
He also reminded the public that Cayman’s emergency number remains 911, and other general inquiries for non-emergency-related issues should be made by calling 916-2837 or 926-6853 between 8:30am and 5pm or by emailing [email protected].
- 136 applications for immediate food vouchers
- 1,681 families approved for services
- 76 voucher applications from work-permit holders