Two St. Michael women were left smiling after receiving the keys to their newly refurbished homes, yesterday.

Minister of Social Care, Steve Blackett, officially presented 99-year-old Rosalie Bailey with the keys to her Waterhall Land, Eagle Hall home, and then later presented 61-year-old Barbara Earle with the keys to her home located at #3 Whitehall, St Michael.

Both homes were refurbished through the Poverty and Alleviation Reduction Programme – a Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development initiative designed to ???bring relief to the very indigent in Barbados???.

After conducting the first official handover, Mr. Blackett, who said he was raised in the area, explained that Mrs. Bailey always resided here but her home had ???fallen into a terrible state of disrepair???.

He continued, ???I believe a lady of Mrs. Bailey???s age would have paid her dues in Barbados as a long-time resident and it is on persons like Mrs. Bailey???s back and shoulders that this country would have been built, so whatever we as a Government can do to bring relief and alleviation to her condition we thought we should do.???

Mr. Blackett added that she would be able to live the balance of her time relaxing in a comfortable environment and it was a pleasure and honour to hand over the home to Mrs. Bailey.

On receiving the keys to her new, beautifully painted home, a smiling Mrs. Bailey said, ???I???m very thankful because I was waiting long???from 2007 I was waiting for this new house, so I thank him very much and may the Lord bless him.???

Miss Earle told a similar tale. When the 61-year-old received the keys to her home she stated, ???I feel good and proud??? thank you very much???.

Asked about the previous state of Miss Earle???s home, the Minister explained to reporters present: ???The structure in which Miss Earle and her family lived before was completely in a dilapidated state???the occupants were living in what I would call subhuman conditions.???

He added, ???When it was brought to our attention, we thought again through the Poverty and Alleviation Reduction Programme, we should rebuild this house for them.???

Mr. Blackett noted that when the new financial year begins on April 1, a number of other homes which have been earmarked across Barbados would also be refurbished accordingly.

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