Hotel worker facing eviction

Chianqua Rolle, 44, a mother of two, was furloughed by Atlantis in March.

She said she has been faced with a worsening financial situation ever since.

“I get $300 every two weeks,” Rolle told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.

“That’s to pay the rent and to pay the light. How is that supposed to work?”

Her 27-year-old daughter and her three granddaughters — ages three, eight and nine — live with her.

Rolle’s daughter lost her job as a result of frequent restrictions, including lockdowns and non-essential business closures, imposed by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis.

Their situation has deteriorated to the point that Rolle said she and her family are now facing eviction.

She said her landlord has asked that they vacate the property today.

“I went to social services and tried to get rent assistance,” Rolle said.

“I’m still waiting on them to assist us from April. On Sunday, I texted my landlord.

“I said, ‘I know I owe you money. I have $400. Can you take this $400? I already called social services and they said they will see what they can do for Wednesday.’”

Rolle said her landlord rejected her offer.

“She said, ‘When I come Wednesday, I would just like to have my key. I don’t care where you go. I would just like to have my key,’” Rolle said.

“So, I asked her, ‘How could you put people out? Where am I supposed to go in this pandemic? Nobody’s renting to people who work at the hotel.’”

She said she never missed a month of rent when she was working.

“It’s so serious when you have children,” she said.

“It would be different if I didn’t have children and it was only me. I could take that, but I have grandchildren who are pretty young.”

When asked how she was managing, Rolle replied, “I living day by day. Every two weeks when we get paid, I got to make sure food is in the house. I tell you social services has yet to give me anything; not even a food stamp, nothing.

“I just filled out a form about two months ago for Rapid Bahamas (the food assistance program) and yesterday was the first time I ever got anything from them.”

Director of Labour John Pinder has estimated the country’s unemployment rate to be over 40 percent amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 110,000 people are receiving help through the government’s food assistance program, according to the prime minister.

The numbers represent an increase of 14,000 people since July 27, when the National Food Distribution Task Force reported it was feeding 23,500 households, roughly 96,000 people.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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