Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Andrew Skerritt addressing enumerators for the Household Support Programme.

The deadline to complete paperwork and apply for the Team Unity Administration’s Poverty Alleviation Programme is Aug. 15. Enumerators have completed training so they can assist applicants in answering questionnaires to gather data about qualifying households. Qualified applicants, with total gross-monthly-income of less than EC$3,000, will receive EC$500 per month in financial support to meet some of their essential living expenses.

The initial signup will be for St. Kitts residents. Plans for Nevis residents to complete their applications will be announced soon.

Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris announced details about the launching of the plan and enumerators training on August 2. The prime minister said the registration process for the Household Support Programme represents the delivery on another major commitment made by Team Unity in its inaugural Manifesto of 2015.

In his most recent press conference, Dr. Harris said the fiscal affairs of the government are in order and as a result the government is in a position to further improve the lives of the people of St. Kitts and Nevis through initiatives such as the Household Support Programme.

“Team Unity knows what it is doing and we are doing what we said we would do,” the prime minister said. “We are doing more for our people than any other government in the region has been able to do. We are able to do these things because we have managed well. We will continue to help all our people but our priority will be to serve the poor, the elderly and the young.”

Any household with less than EC$3,000 total gross-monthly-income will qualify for the stipend. The program’s goal is to improve the overall standard of living, quality of life and provide a lifestyle that does not compromise any citizen’s health or dignity.

During the first phase of the programme enumerators at designated data collection centres will collect important information about qualifying households and help the head of the household fill out the questionnaire.

A list of assigned application centre locations will be posted at the front of the Passport office government headquarters and at other official locations.

Phase One:

Application process steps are:

– Only one person per household (that is, the head of the household) will be required to apply by completing the questionnaire.

– Courteous, professional and helpful data collectors at the designated centres will gladly assist applicants fill out the questionnaire.

– Go to your nearest assigned application centre. The full list of assigned application centres will be broadcast on ZIZ’s Bulletin Board, on social media and will also be published in newspapers.

– In addition, the full list of centres will be posted at Government Headquarters at the front of the Passport Office.

– The application centres will operate on weekdays from 10:00am to 6:00pm, allowing applicants to complete the questionnaire after work.

– We intend to fully utilize the time allotted to the data gathering exercise to accommodate applications from all parties who are qualified.

– It is important for applicants wishing to apply to this Poverty Alleviation Programme to know that all persons collecting data have taken and are bound by oaths of confidentiality to safeguard the information collected. Applicants information will be protected and treated in the strictest confidence.

– All applicants should be honest and forthright in their responses.

The application process is very simple:

– At your nearest assigned application centre, present the following: proof of address, such as a utility bill issued within the last two months; a picture ID, such as a passport, driver’s license or Social Security card, as well as your Social Security number and most recent pay slip.

Phase two:

Phase 2 of the programme is an investigative and assessment stage, during which data collected will be verified to determine if individuals who have applied for the assistance are genuinely eligible. Abuse within the programme will not be tolerated.

Phase three:

In Phase 3, the payments to qualifying households will start as soon as practical after phase 2 ends.

Application centres will operate on weekdays (excluding holidays) from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, allowing applicants to apply after work. Centre locations and dates in Nevis will be announced soon.

The locations to apply in St. Kitts are:
Bronte Welsh Primary School
Cayon Community Centre
Challenger’s Basketball Centre (building next to the basketball court)
Charles E. Mills High School
Conaree Community Centre (for residents of Key’s and Conaree)
Dieppe Bay Primary School
Estridge Primary School, application centre after Aug. 8
Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School
McKnight Community Centre
Newtown Community Centre
Old Road Community Centre
People Empowerment Centre (Agriculture Department, Springfield)
Saddler’s Primary School
St. Paul’s Community Centre
St. Peter’s Primary School
Tabernacle Community Centre
Violet Petty Primary School

Orientation for enumerators

An orientation and preparation session for enumerators was held Aug. 2 at the Ministry of Health conference room for Department of Social Services staff and other volunteers.

For the next two weeks, enumerators, who were required to sign a confidentiality agreement, will be present in each of the community centres on St. Kitts to assist residents to fill out their questionnaires.

In areas where there are no community centres or where the community centre is unfit for use, alternative venues are being provided.

Dr. Harris thanked the hardworking and dedicated employees of various Government Ministries who are engaged in this process, in particular the Ministries of Sustainable Development, Social Services, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Finance, and various community volunteers, as well as the relevant State agencies for their invaluable support and service over the duration of this entire poverty alleviation project.