Family seeks a home for Christmas
Four-year-old Rohan Colebrooke shyly peered out of one of the broken windows of the one-story home he lives in on Fire Trail Road whenThe Nassau Guardianvisited yesterday.
It is a home he shares with five siblings and his single mother. While other children are requesting video games, dolls and toy trucks this Christmas, Rohan and his family only want one thing: A home.
Edith Anderson, Rohan’s mother, works at the neighborhood gas station where she earns minimum wage. The wage, she said, is simply not enough to comfortably sustain the family.
“Right now it’s very hard and the condition of the house is very bad. It constantly leaks. When it rains it’s like Niagara Falls, because everywhere you go it’s water,”Anderson said.
The family’s sitting room, which includes an elaborately decorated artificial Christmas tree and photos of Anderson’s children, has a hole in the ceiling. There are also holes in the ceilings of the other rooms in the four-bedroom house.
Anderson tookThe Guardianon a tour of her home. There is a musty
odor throughout a smell emanating from wet mattresses and damp clothes used to soak up water from the storm over the weekend. The floors in the home are also cracked due to water that settled from previous rain storms.
There are no internal pipes or fixtures for running water in the Anderson home. Members of the household take baths inside a tub with a bucket filled with water from an outside pump.
At night Anderson runs a generator she is barely able to operate because of the cost of fuel.
Audie Colebrooke, the father of Anderson’s children, had reportedly promised his children that he would provide them with a good home. Colebrooke, who was a construction worker, was unable to fulfill that promise before he died of an illness on October 29.
Anderson is seeking help from members of the public in order to help provide for her family.
“I have six children and they are all mine. So I have to try and keep them together, keep food on the table and make sure they have a stable environment. But this house is really not a stable place because everywhere you look is[mildew], and it leaks,”Anderson said.