CHRISTMAS is usually a time for family togetherness and goodwill. A time where loved ones engage in the exchanging of gifts and partake in hearty Christmas meals, and where children frolic in the excitement of receiving those gifts.
But for one family, there would be no such celebration this year. That family is not asking for any lavish gifts or any fancy treats. The only gift they desire is a place where they can lay their heads at night.
Three months ago, Abigail Mondesir, 27, her husband, Stephan Baird, and their three children, Destiny, seven; Denisha, five; and Dominic, three, were asked to leave the home of relatives where they had been staying for some time.
Mondesir yesterday turned to the Express for help and journeyed to Express House, Independence Square, Port of Spain, to tell her story.
She explained that she and the rest of her family had been staying at the house located in Cocoyea Village as they awaited a response from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) to which they had applied for a home since 2004.
Mondesir said the family used to live in the upper level of a house with a relative of her husband's, but when the relative died recently, the family was asked to leave.
She said two days before the opening of the new school term in September, the electricity and water supply to the portion of the house which they occupied was stopped, forcing them to leave.
In the nights to follow after their "eviction", Mondesir said she, her husband and children usually took the chance of sneaking into the gallery of that very home to sleep.
On several occasions, they were caught by relatives, who in turn contacted the police, she said.
Mondesir said on occasions, they would seek shelter at the home of several of her friends in south Trinidad but it was nothing permanent.
"It is very hard. I do not even eat. I always have to be going to the hospital because my pressure gone up. My children are crying because they have no place to stay, so it is very hard for me and my husband to go through this with our three small kids, especially at a time like this when Christmas is just a few days away.
"We would like to get a little help from HDC, or even members of the public, if they could help us in getting a home. My husband is a labourer with WASA (Water and Sewerage Authority), so it would not be a problem for us to pay the monthly rent," said Mondesir.
Contacted last night, HDC managing director Jearlean John asked the Express to send her the family's information, which was done.
Anyone willing to assist the family can contact them at 318-7749.