Children 6 & 10 among family living on streets of Kingstown

Inola Haynes and her family, three of whom, including her 6-year-old son, are seen in the background, have been living under the tree seen in the background for months. (iWN photo)

A family of five, including two minors — a 10-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy, and an 18-year-old who is still studying — has been living under a tree in Kingstown for almost four months.

Inola Haynes, 47, originally of Green Hill, said they were evicted from their rented home in Questelles almost four months ago because of her boyfriend’s drinking problem.

“He drinking rum and behaving bad so they throw him out and tell him we have to go.

“I don’t live anywhere. Is all about under gallery I sleeping,” she told iWitness News on Wednesday while sitting on some steps outside a building on McCoy Street.

She was sitting there with her son and her boyfriend near the tree where they spend most of the day.

The children go to a school in Kingstown.

On Wednesday when we spoke to Haynes, she said her 10-year-old daughter had gone to school but her 6-year-old son did not attend that day because someone had stolen his sole school pants after she had washed and hung it out to dry the previous night.

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“Dem shed dey have all over Tokyo is where we does sleep,” she told iWitness News, referring to the bus terminal.

Haynes said went to the Social Welfare Department seeking assistance and was told to look for somewhere to rent and the state will pay for the tenancy.

Her son explained that the Social Welfare Department has said that rent must be EC$450 or less per month to be funded by the state, but such a place is difficult to find.

“I still looking and I ain’t find nowhere. I ain’t working anywhere,” Haynes said, adding that her children’s father does not support them.

She said that her current boyfriend is not her children’s father.

The family spend most of the day in this area under the tree as they look for odd jobs such as washing vehicles. (iWN photo)

Haynes told iWitness News she supports her children with “whatever little I pick up”.

“If somebody could help me, help me with a shelter, me and me children and them,” she said.

Sometimes, when it rains at night they have to leave the sheds under which they are sleeping.

At times, they would get the odd job to wash vehicles. The family has nowhere to cook and would eat light food such as bread and fried chicken, which they buy in Kingstown.

“Sometime, when we get a little money, we will go to a restaurant and buy fast food, like Chinese food and things,” she said.

“When we ain’t have enough we will go to Yankie and buy bread and chicken and Busta [carbonated drink] or tea or something,” she said.

The woman cannot tell when was the last time she ate a meal of the type she would have cooked when she lived in a house.

She and her family shower at the public bath in Rose Place.

“It’s rough for me,” she told iWitness News when asked what it has been like over the past few months.

She said her children were “coping as usual.

“They don’t have nobody to stand up for them. It’s me alone as father and mother,” she said adding that while people know they live on the street, she doesn’t know if her children’s schoolmates are aware.

Haynes said her son has complained about a schoolmate who always locks him up in the classroom.

Haynes did not live with her parents for much of her life.

“My parents gave me away since I small to a woman in Union. My brothers and sister? I have one in the Grenadines, I have a brother in Green Hill but dem dey don’t study me as much.

“Anybody outside that listening me, if you could help me please and my three children,” Haynes said in appealing for assistance.

Inola Haynes is appealing for help so that she and her family can move off the streets of the nation’s capital. (iWN photo)

Meanwhile, the woman’s 18-year-old son, Junior Haynes, told iWitness News:

“Basically, we don’t have anywhere. We just sleep under sheds, under galleries. It’s life. Sometimes, you don’t have. You have to go with what you have…

“It ain’t nice. It aint nice out there. Sometimes you meet violence, you get in trouble at nights when you are sleeping. People come and trouble you. All sorts of things,” he said.

“They might tell you ‘Move from there!’ The might want to fight. Sometimes they even run you down,” he said.

The youth said he went to West St. George Secondary School and left when he was to enter Form 3.

“The situation was – home-wise and other things,” he said. “Like getting money to go to school, things like that. It really wasn’t there for me. I end up dropping out.”

The youth said he worked with Premium Security for a year and gained some work experience and made new friends.

He, however, said the long hours and low pay were taking a toll on him.

“I was working from 6 to 6 — 12 hours every day. Two weeks day and two weeks night. I only got one day off a week,” he said, adding that he was paid EC$700-plus per month.

“It really wasn’t too bad but I really couldn’t undergo with it because of the kind of hours,” he said, adding that he was living at Sharpes at the time.

He said that after quitting the security firm he tried his hand at vending but that also did not work out.

The younger Haynes says he works at a part-time employee with the Public Health Department, but no work is available currently.

He said he hopes that his family’s homelessness ends “very soon”.

“Right now, I’m doing some classes to get subjects: maths and English,” he said.

He said the government pays his tuition and knows that his family lives on the street.

“They told my mom to go and find a place but the price range — they say they don’t pay anything more than $450 for rent. And that’s very difficult to find.”

36 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone knows that unless you have a job it is far more expensive to live in town than in the countryside.

    More often than not, poor life choices rather than poor life chances are the cause of poverty and homelessness in SVG.

    Am I wicked to say that I don’t feel sorry for a woman who chooses to take up with an alcoholic and ne’er do well man?

    • Where is your humanity?
      I pray that life never shines it’s dark life on you or else you may remember this moment and the comment you chose to make and you will rue the day!

      • Yes, I could suffer some adversity, including death, at any moment but this would never be because I have embraced a “dark life,” as you call it.

        Instead I have chosen, based on my God-given free will, to trod the straight and narrow, something this women certainly did not choose to do, especially bringing children into a world in which she could not adequately support them.

        Where is her humanity?

    • Ur is not wicked to say it but it’s quite cruel and inconsiderate. We sin everyday . By choice make bad decisions disobey knowingly but yet God is still loving and forgiving us.
      She made bad life choices..so her innocent children should suffer?

      Maybe she stated with the man because he brought in money.. who knows.
      But one thing is certain here. The victims are her children and none of us has the right to judge her as we have never been in this situation.

      Sometimes to ease some narcissist trait in ourselves we say things like what was stated above but love and empathy covers so much.

      Have a heart

      • One of the reasons we are such a troubled society is because we are not judgemental enough.

        On the contrary, we are a very permissive people — the opposite of judgemental — where anything goes and all is forgiven — unlike many other countries like Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan where anti-social and personally destrictive forms of behaviour are loudly and publically criticised and punished.

        We are a “no shame” society and paying a high penalty for this deeply rooted national flaw.

    • C ben-David, I once found myself homeless in the great USA. And hear me right, homelessness in SVG is paradise in comparison. Many of us in the USA are one paycheck away from homelessness. But you know what, I experienced it and am not going to be judgmental when it comes to the homeless because you never know.

      And before you begin your rant, I am OK now. Judge not! Steve Jobs, Sylvester Stallone, Steve Harvey and even Madea (for emphasis) were once homeless. Again, C-ben David, “I know but you never know.”

      Moreover, I am now good for it in many ways and giving back to the homeless. You know how content I feel when I help and pay the way for a homeless kid and that kid graduates high school and college with a bachelors? That is my high in life!

  2. This is nothing short of outrageous. In a time when the Gonsalves regime is giving TnT, a rich country in comparison to us, hurricane relief funds from our taxpayers money. Our own people suffer. Politicians are heartless beast. Also, where are the churches and charity organizations when people need them? Are there no homeless shelters in SVG? A good government can be measured by the way they treat the poor and needy. Doesn’t the Police know that this family is sleeping under a tree in the middle of town?
    Why should this family have to go through this traumatic ordeal alone? This is when you have to give handouts.
    Why does the ULP have such contempt for poor people. This is shamefully unacceptable. Down with the ULP regime.

    • What is “outrageous” about allowing people to choose their own destiny, even if this results in their homelessness, an outcome of poor life choices, laziness, drug addiction, and bad-mindedness which even affects millions of Americans in one of the richest countries in the world?

      And I am not talking about mentally ill or physically disabled people who need the help of others and of the government. I am talking about people who willfully damaged themselves and ended up on the street. Screw them.

      You say, “A good government can be measured by the way they treat the poor and needy” without knowing anything about this woman or her lazy son who quit a job as a security guard when he had no other prospects without acknowledging the elementary fact that “good persons should be measured by how they treat themselves.”

      You bleeding-heart Ralph haters make me sick.

      • After reading all you have to say I have come to the conclusion that you are rather heartless. Must the woman be denied help because she made bad choices in life? No man is perfect, I guess from Ur comments on the issue that Ur bread is well buttered. Not everyone has had people along the way to guide their paths, some of us fall by the way side and what is it so hard to turn and say ” here my brother/sister, let me lend you a hand.” Also yes it is saying something about the government and whatever charity or charities we may have here.

    • Ralph Gonsalves costs more for an hour for SVG to pay, keep and maintain than this family need for a month. There should be apartment blocks for such people rent paid by government.

      You see all Vincentians wanted to get rid of Britain and go it alone. But if we had stayed with Britain people like this would be looked after. There are people like this in every society all over the world. Usually governments take the children and put them in homes.

      SVG is a 3rd World country unable to organise and look after its people, even social services are non existent.

      Yes there are faults in these people but they are ignorant and stupid and need help. I doubt they know better.

      • I agree with your second paragraph which is factually true, even if morally wrong since it is based on socialist principles I detest and thought that you detested as well.

        Therefore, I disagree totally with your first paragraph including the fact that warehousing the poor like that only produces a breeding ground for high crime as has been shown around the world when public housing is provided to able-bodied people.

  3. I read this story n have no pitty what so ever for this family first thing u were in an apartment how u been paying for it so if u get put out n welfare say they can help u with 450 what ever u been paying before plus that 450 u couldn’t get a place secondly d lazy ass son quit a job paying 700 per mnt because he only getting 1 rest day per week n his shifts are 12 hrs negro please I worked out station where I practically live in d damn station one my shift is 24 hrs plus after that country patrol traffic duties investigations u name it we have to do it u don’t quit a job because d hours are long u look for some thing else that is 700 that Yall need n could have used to keep off d streets so u all choose to live that way d government is not abligated to help Yall need to suck it up u take d damn 700 Yall get d 450 from government n u miss woman look a work even if u have to wash clothes clean house do something little is much it adds up stop sitting on Yall asses hoping for a save n save Yall selves

    • You know what bothers me Sherry, her boyfriend drinking. Fling his ass away, he ain’t contributing to nothing in her life. Everything they blame government, what the hell. Life is what you make it…..I’m just sorry for the ten and 6 year old……

      • I agree with you, Alinda, but are you aware that many medical professionals and others have long called alcoholism (compulsive addiction to alcohol) a disease akin to diabetes, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, etc.

        So if it is “disease,” the person who contradicted it should be held blameless. So this man who had a decent unionized job all his life (as Burns Bonadie has claimed on Facebook) but has nothing to show for it is blameless for his behaviour.

        That is the kind of new world we are living in: nobody is to blame for anything wrong they do.

        Even calling diabetes and heart disease true diseases ignores that both are generally contracted through poor life choices, namely consuming too many calories, especially those containing lots of sugar and fat, and not enough exercise to burn off the calories. In other words, willfully doing bad things to your body based on free will and choice.

        Still, there are many clinicians and other who even call obesity a disease. Go figure.

    • Well must have to agree with you. My wife and I survived with less. I was fired while my wife was pregnant and was going to teacher’s college 8 yrs ago. I had rent to pay food and passage and courts for a desktop computer I credit for my wife to do her school work and a lot of other assignments. Plus medical bills. I have to take odd jobs as well. Like cleaning the road with a road gang but I never stop looking for a real job. Everyone in life have A gift some of us don’t know what that is . Mine is the gift of perserverance and a lot of trade skills I’ve picked up over the years. I to was evicted but, I used the notice time to find another place. But I still sympathize with the woman and children. They are the weaker vessel. The man should step up to his responsibilities. Or she should leave like my mother did when she was in similar situation all those years ago. This kind of thing has been going on to long. The social welfare should take the younger ones and forget about the adults. This thing is bringing back to much painful memories.

  4. This no political issue my mother always say baybab until u get something better. U don’t just leave a job knowing your situation and in have nothing else to do.we just can’t depend on government.
    Human being are failure u have to look for ur self. Miss am 19 have a 4 yr old and the government used to help but now am not collecting anything I in going depend on them to put food on my table. And get rid ah the man u want government pay rent for u to carry bk the drunkard. Stweepz shame on some mothers

    • Nun to Study, not everyone in SVG is as intelligent as you and your mother. The ULP and Gonsalves have purposely produced a peasant class which is becoming more and more reliant on the state. People were perhaps more intelligent and informed before the false education revolution, which is producing people like these.

      Drunks are an increasing byproduct of low wages and low alcohol prices, lack of jobs, and boredom. Soon you will also see families destroyed by weed reliant men in greater numbers than currently exist.

      Women in general are led by their hearts and not by there heads when they choose a man. You will find women who in every man they choose has the same traits as the previous one, women beaters or alcoholics and sex fiends, perverts and rapists.

      So the state has to look after these people, at one time we could rely on the Church’s also to help but they have become enemies of the people with their leaders more concerned with the duty and tax free lives given them under this government than in their flocks, afraid to voice opinions in fear of loss of those. They quite simply have become bought political tools.

      Real Christianity would be helping instead of condemning and allowing these people to endure such rejection by their elected government, the ULP led by Dr Ralph E Gonslaves.

  5. Hi try Monty in edinbaro his rates were reasonable but u may not be able to take ur man getting in so as his behaviour will not be allowed and if that’s ur problem u will need to make the sacrifice,sorry, but think of it kids first

  6. Madam I know this family and she is not a lazy woman nor does she not seek employment.

    What is wrong with you ppl? Someone is asking for help ! For the love of Jesus Christ would it hurt us to help?
    Look how many times in your life you’ve
    purposely done something and was given a 2nd chance. Being alive today is a second chance..

  7. How many CHRISTIANS and CHURCHES in SVG?

    They want to preach to whom? After this family under a tree for four months.

    Civil Society pass them by everyday?

    Everyone is not the same, some make good choices some make poor ones. It’s what is done about it that makes the difference.

    Criticism does not help the situation. Action will.

    Life is interesting a man make plans to buy a car he bought it and died in an accident as he drove out the dealership he did not make it home.

    How you are today may not be how you will be tomorrow so give a helping hand. Today is hers tomorrow could be yours.

  8. Where is the church and the Christian council?
    This should be the best institution to step up and help this family. They don’t need a fish for one da, you have to teach them to fish.
    The mother, the boyfriend and the 18 year old can work together to make their.situation better.
    They can get some kind of farm work to do providing they are willing to move out of town.
    I know people need farm hands . People get up and get.

  9. Where is the love for humanity, when God put us on the earth he put us to look out for the poor, Matthew 25_35,try reading and follow the instructions

  10. I’m applaud and horrified about the comments about this family. At least the 18yr is trying but he still needs an education Thank God for him he stuck by him mom knowing the dire situation they’re in. He could of easily gone by a friend and his little siblings no one thinking about them. People just running off their mouths. No one knows this woman life and what she went through as a young child but God. Ok she has a boyfriend who drinks while that’s not right choice in the moment no one knows what he was in the beginning of their relationship. He could of had a job and lost it or something life changing he went through that sent him in a downward spiral.

    In a country like S.V G there not so much opportunity for the whole island. There should be organizations in place to help homelessness and families, also food help.

    When you all want to have no empathy and compassion and think you all high and mighty , and you all could never be in a position like this think again. You could have all the money in the world, a good job, food on your table and lose it all. No one knows about tomorrow but God. In life we all need or will need help from someone. Be careful how you treat the poor God sees and hear everything.

    You all are a disgrace and your parents and grandparents will or would of help the whole village.

    Kenton I know you have to post the comments but honestly there are some comments that’s not worth posting.

    GOD I PRAY YOU OPEN A DOOR FOR THIS FAMILY YOU’RE A GOD THAT DOESN’T FORSAKE US. YOU’RE A LOVING AND COMPASSIONATE GOD. YOU SAID TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS WILL COME BUT YOU WILL ALWAYS SEE US THROUGH. OPEN A DOOR NOW NOW NOW IN JESUS CHRIST NAME AMEN.

  11. Help the woman and the children, get off your philosophical high horses!

    The account is given of the WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY brought to Jesus (and they were ready to stone her).

    SHE MADE A POOR CHOICE AS WELL YES–

    BUT Jesus stooped down and wrote on the sand. He then said “HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE!”

    They all walked away.

    It was not said what JESUS WROTE but I am sure HE WROTE THE POOR CHOICES THAT ALL THE ACCUSERS MADE AT SOME POINT IN TIME!

    Help the mother and children PLEASE!!!

  12. All you wicked people who passing judgment on this lady I really hope you can say the same thing when it’s your time and hardship meets you. Those people who have such hatred for the government please do the right thing and put this woman in your house show the government that you are more concerned about the everyday life of vincentians than they do. I guess none of you dear to do it.
    They lady have 150Sq miles to chose from but she instead wants to confine to one area,there is cheap rent in rural areas there is school also there. Homelessness is not a nice thing I can tell you first hand about it. I have to drive 5 hours in a snow storm to get my brother because he was living out of his car without my knowing. As a result of that he have serious issues with his nerves after being in constant bone chilling weather. Who can help this lady help in any way u can and those who passing judgment remember rain do not fall on one man’s roof.

  13. you cant poor water into a leaking bucket …….God help those that help themselves …….that said hope for the children sake who are innocent…. get help

  14. You people should stop blaming others like politicians and and churches we should accept responsibility for our actions. I think the mother should leave the drunkerd and gave the children up to social welfare. We do have places that take care of children in need

    • Finally a comment, I’m in total agreement with.

      As a parent, my kids well being will always come first even before a relationship and definitely before myself. If she does get help, I see a follow up story coming because of her man’s ways. Should the kids continue to suffer for her man’s choices?

      Also, I have worked shifts for weeks with little sleep. Its not easy but I had responsibilities. The son should have stuck with his job until better came. $700 is better than $0. Few people can say they love their jobs and work hours and conditions.

      Life is a constant sacfifice. My heart bleeds only for the innocent underaged kids here and no one else.

  15. All of just shut up and stop commenting you all giving me a headache just by reading them. You not going through what they are going through so just shut up you ignorant bafoones

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