Photo: New homeowner Stephanie Freeman (left embraces the Honourable Hazel Brandy-Williams, junior minister in the Ministry of Social Development (right), after receiving her keys to her new three-bedroom home at the New River Housing Project Oct. 19.
Photo: This is the new three-bedroom home of Stephanie Freeman and her seven children. The home was gifted to the family Oct. 19 by the Ministry of Social Development as part of its Community Home Assistance Programme to assist the poor and most vulnerable on Nevis.
Photo:Stephanie Freeman (middle) shows the Hon. Hazel-Brandy Williams, junior minister of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration, and Keith Glasgow, permanent secretary in the ministry, the kitchen area of her new home presented to her Oct. 19 under the Ministry of Social Development’s Community Home Assistance Programme.
Photo: New homeowner Stephanie Freeman has a light moment with Kim Sing, a social case worker in the Department of Social Development Oct. 19, soon after Freeman was presented with the keys as part of the Ministry of Social Development’s Community Home Assistance Programme.
Single mother of seven now a homeowner thanks to NIA’s housing programme
Charlestown, Nevis – Single mother of seven Stephanie Freeman is the recipient of a new three-bedroom home at New River Housing Project. The gift is part of the Ministry of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration’s (NIA) Community Housing Assistance Programme.
Moments after she was presented with the keys Oct. 19 by the Honourable Hazel Brandy-Williams, junior minister in the Ministry of Social Development on Nevis, Freeman thanked the minister and her staff profusely for the assistance given to her and her family.
“I would like to say thanks to the Social Development especially Minister Hazel Brandy,” she said. “She [has] always been behind me and I would also like to say a big, big thanks to Kim Sing. She has always been there for me and not letting me give up. I would like to say thanks to everyone who [has] been there for me, [and have] been supporting me. Thanks to one and all,” she said.
In her remarks, Brandy-Williams stated that the Department of Social Development was made aware of Freeman’s plight through Sing, a social case worker in the Department of Social Development. They realised that her situation was dire, given that she had seven children, all under the age of 16 at the time, and immediate intervention was paramount.
The minister said in every situation where children are involved, the ministry does not hesitate to assist because the welfare of children is priority. She said, housing is a fundamental right to every human being and it was fitting to assist Freeman with housing under the Community Housing Assistance Programme.
A visibly elated Brandy-Williams added that she was pleased with Freeman, a graduate of the department’s Restore Inspire Secure and Empower (RISE) programme, who was able to pay for the plot of land on which the house is constructed.
She referred to the accomplishment as a major one and believes it stems from the empowerment in a programme designed to replace the social welfare programme that existed for many years before.
“At the end of this programme, we would want everybody to graduate from this public service handout and are able to stand on their own and rise as the programme indicates.,” she said. “We want them to rise and so, today I am very happy. I am very proud of Stephanie for her accomplishments up to today and she could only continue to build on the foundation that we have given her. I am certain that it is very challenging having to parent seven children on her own, but with her determination, I am certain that she will get it done and get it done quite successfully,” she said.
The minister expressed hope that Freemen would continue to make the property her home, castle and mansion and urged her to ensure that her children took care of it. She also expressed satisfaction.
“I am happy that you are now living in your own home and so you will continue to grow and develop as a person,” she said. “This is my true admonition to you.”
Minister Brandy-Williams also expressed gratitude to private contractor Kevin Jeffers and his team who built the house. She explained that on occasion, the ministry subcontracts private builders because of limited maintenance workers at the department and the volume of work to be done.
Other remarks came from Sing; Keith Glasgow, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Social Development; Bishop Stephen Liburd, who delivered the blessing; and Shelly Liburd, who oversees community housing assistance projects, chaired the proceedings. Also present at the handing over ceremony was Michelle Liburd, assistant secretary in the Ministry of Social Development.