Monday, December 18, 2017

Help on the way for Natasha Navas

Former Chaguanas Mayor Natasha Navas

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn has reached out to former Chaguanas Mayor Natasha Navas.

Chrichlow-Cockburn noted that there were many State agencies to provide assistance to Navas, who has been living in a Hindu temple in Cunupia since last Friday.

The Minister said she was willing to send a social worker to visit Navas today.

“I will try to get an officer to visit her today. Someone can go to, and meet her where she is,” she said.

Pundit Jaidath Maharaj, head of the Gyaan Jyoti Mandali Temple at Madras Road, made a public appeal on Monday for Navas' relatives to come forward.

He said the mother of three was seen standing outside the temple with a large suitcase on Friday.

Maharaj said temple members opened the doors and allowed Navas to go inside.

He said police officers and paramedics were unable to remove Navas.

Chrichlow-Cockburn said she was unable to determine what assistance can be rendered to Navas as she would have to undergo an assessment.

“Where someone may have been evicted or whatever we provide rental assistance initially for three months and up to a maximum of six months and during that time we hold discussions with the individual to find out what the situation really is and what other ways we could assist.  It is difficult for me to say having not spoken to her to understand exactly what her circumstances,” she said.

Chrichlow-Cockburn said social workers and counsellors would speak with the former Mayor and determine her needs.

And should she require treatment for mental health issues, Chrichlow-Cockburn said, the matter would be referred to the Ministry of Health.

NOTE: More on this story in the Wednesday edition of the Trinidad Express newspaper.