Eighty-nine-year-old Mary Thompson has no kids and has never been married. She was an avid reader before her eyesight was taken by a medical condition many years ago. Now, without family members to assist, the wooden structure she calls home on Abraham Street off James Road has fallen apart.
Inside the barely ventilated home, walking space is just enough for her and her three cats that come and go.
Cobwebs line the unfinished ceiling which Thompson said leaks when it rains.
In her bedroom is a single bed with an old shelf filled with books she can no longer read as a headboard.
Her small bathroom connected to the room needs numerous repairs. The bathtub has no shower curtain and in it are two buckets that are used to flush out a toilet that doesn’t work.
Thompson who worked as a maid for 20 to 30 years, said she went blind in 2012.
She said she has a niece and nephew who provide limited help due to their work.
Without the help of her community, she said it would be difficult to complete daily tasks.
Her brother was an additional source of help but she said he died about four years ago.
“It’s tough because I have to get my breakfast and my lunch,” she said.
Thompson said she has lived in the community since 1973.
She said that various government agencies have been around numerous times over the years, however, she has yet to receive meaningful help; only a canvas tarp that she was told to use to cover her leaking roof.
Thompson’s birthday was two weeks ago. When asked how she celebrated, she said, “Oh, I just been here sitting down and listening to the radio. The radio is right here.”
Despite her living conditions, she maintains a positive attitude. She still manages to keep the few dishes that she has clean.
When asked how she manages, she said: “I try to do my best.”
Rita Thompson, who is not related, said she has known Mary Thompson her entire life and described her as the grandmother she never had.
“Firstly, I think the condition here of Ms. Thompson needs to be addressed,” Thompson said.
“Corporate Bahamas, we’re pleading to the public for assistance because I made several pleas on her behalf to our member of parliament and [to] Urban Renewal and [still] now, nothing has happened.
“You can see her living condition for an 89-year-old woman. I think this needs to improve like right away.
“…The only thing she is depending on is her national insurance check at the end of the month.
“We are begging for someone to please come and help us to help Ms. Thompson.”
Rita Thompson said members of the community are willing to assist and have begun to assist, but she said they can’t do it alone.
She added that Mary Thompson is not the only one in the community living in poor conditions who needs help.
Education: Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) 3rd Year