Barrouallie resident, Wilma Oliver is rejoicing in gratitude as her elderly neighbour who was living in a deplorable condition, was relocated to a public housing facility.
On Friday, February 10, Oliver spoke with SEARCHLIGHT about her 77-year old neighbour who lived in squalor.
Oliver had spent months assisting, and trying to get help for Randolph ‘Soto’ Smith whose shack was wedged between an old truck and a river. He was living among heaps of garbage, filthy clothes and kitchen items sprawled across the floor.
However, after hitting wall after wall trying to seek public assistance, Oliver has finally reaped the fruits of her persistence as Smith was finally removed from his life of extreme destitution hours after SEARCHLIGHT highlighted the issue in its February 17, weekend edition.
Oliver said that an ambulance arrived outside her home at around 3:00 p.m and spent almost two hours preparing Smith to take him to the Lewis Punnet Home.
She said that he was given a bath outside his house by the nurses, while Oliver, along with another neighbour, provided him with clothes.
“I was trying to help, I [carried] the water, everything, go for the water, go for the clothes.” Along with the nurses, herself and another neighbour, Oliver said her grand children were also on hand to help.
However, she was unsure if Smith was taken to the hospital for a check-up or if he was taken directly to the public facility.
She said she is grateful for the swift response that she has received in moving Smith into a better living environment.
“…when I see them come, I said thank you Jesus. I thank God because he been definitely want the help; I tell God thanks. I said thank you Jesus, three times, thank you Jesus.”
Smith said that she “kind of miss him, how me done accustomed to carry his food and thing”.
She said that she doesn’t think the nurses informed him about the situation when he told her, “Shut me door…me going see bout me foot.”
Oliver said numerous relatives and friends have commended her for taking her concerns to the media, and added that one of Smith’s granddaughters was attempting to contact her, but she is unsure why.
An official at the Lewis Punnet Home confirmed that Smith is now a resident at the facility; however, SEARCHLIGHT was unable to speak with him at the time of the visit.
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