By Christopher Tobutt
More than a hundred people lined up in front of the Compass Centre to receive food vouchers, thanks to Resilience Cayman, the organization dedicated to helping Cayman’s needy families survive the economic hardship brought about by Covid-19.
Director for Resilience Cayman, Jan Gupta said, “We started in 2020 right after Covid began. Our mission is to support workers on the Island, both Caymanians and work permit holders, who are going through economic hardship as a result of Covid. These are people who have either lost their jobs, or had their hours cut, and they are not really receiving much support elsewhere and are having a hard time making ends meet.
“What we are doing today is distributing food vouchers for people who applied in January for food support. The other programs we have include utilities assistance, so that is to help people who have arrears on their CUC bill or their water bill, and are facing disconnection from those services. The third program we have is rent-assistance, with a special focus on families who are facing eviction because they have got behind on their rent.”
People can apply online, and providing they meet the criteria which is based on income, family size, and other relevant circumstances, they may receive assistance. Since the beginning of Covid’s impact, Resilience Cayman has already helped more than five thousand individuals or families. “Our main focus is really families with children. We want to make sure that they are looked after, even though the family may be struggling economically,” Ms. Gupta added. Resilience Cayman depends on donations for its work. “Today’s food distribution is based on a generous grant we received from R3,” Ms Gupta said.
Each of the people waiting in line showed their Identification at the desk, to show that they are the same people who applied online, and the vouchers, which range between 100 and 350 KYD end up in the right homes.
One of the beneficiaries, Jo Anne Delrosario starting, began receiving assistance in November 2020. Although she has a job working in a salon, her monthly salary is less than 1000 dollars, which is difficult because she has two children, one who is 17 and another special-needs child who is 19. She received 150 dollars’ food assistance for the first two months, but today the amount has doubled to 300 dollars. “I want to say thank-you to Resilience for supporting people like me,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Carol Ebanks, said, “Resilience helped me pay my rent, which is 1,500 dollars a month. I am looking after three children, and it’s really helped me and I am really thankful.” Vasti Barrett has been receiving help from Resilience for two years, “I am very very grateful for what Resilience has been doing for us, and believe me, for the past two years I have been getting assistance for food, and for utilities, light bill, water bill, and believe me, my goodness, it is such a great help,” she said.