From tears of joy - New home for Stacy

Tears of joy flowed yes­ter­day as sin­gle moth­er Sta­cy Valasquez moved out of the pavil­ion at the bas­ket­ball court in Bayshore, Mara­bel­la, where she had lived with her son for the past three months.

Valasquez, 38 and her ten-year-old son were res­cued by mem­bers of Mus­lims of Trinidad and To­ba­go, who learnt of her sad predica­ment in a sto­ry pub­lished in the T&T Guardian on Mon­day. The or­gan­i­sa­tion will be rent­ing an apart­ment for them next to the Is­lam­ic Mis­sion­ary Guild and Mus­lim Cen­tre at Kel­ly Vil­lage, Ca­roni, for at least six months. They will al­so help her find a job and en­rol her son in­to a near­by school. Touched by her un­for­tu­nate predica­ment, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has al­ready reached out to their con­tacts in Bar­ba­dos in an at­tempt to find Valasquez’ moth­er.

Valasquez has re­ceived an out­pour­ing of sup­port since her sto­ry was pub­lished, in­clud­ing from a res­i­dent of Unit­ed States and a re­porter from the Na­tion news­pa­per in Bar­ba­dos who of­fered to help lo­cate Valasquez’ moth­er.

Wip­ing away her tears with her hi­jab yes­ter­day, Valasquez said, “I feel more than over­whelmed. I feel a bub­bly feel­ing, but I feel good.”

Thank­ful for all the help she has been re­ceiv­ing, Valasquez said she was look­ing for­ward to mak­ing a fresh start.

“I hope that af­ter this I could re­al­ly work to get my own,” Valasquez said, adding she nev­er thought that one day she and her son would be home­less and liv­ing in a pavil­ion.

She had a mes­sage for peo­ple fac­ing sim­i­lar cir­cum­stances.

“Don’t give up, be strong. It is not easy be­ing strong. I un­der­stand we are all hu­man be­ings but we have to do it. Just hold on. He (God) is hear­ing you. He is there to hear you in the night when no­body is hear­ing you, cry­ing in a pil­low, hug­ging up your pil­low and cry­ing. Hold on and pray.”

Valasquez was al­so elat­ed that the or­gan­i­sa­tion is help­ing her to lo­cate her moth­er.

“That will make me flip and do a som­er­sault. I am telling you that is a big one. I re­al­ly don’t know where she is. She is a good moth­er and I just feel some­thing hap­pen to her.”

Valasquez lived with her par­ents at an apart­ment at Enid Street, Mara­bel­la, but her moth­er An­gela Mis­sette moved to Bar­ba­dos about ten years ago. She was in con­stant con­tact with her moth­er un­til al­most two years ago, when her moth­er stopped call­ing and calls to her moth­er’s phone went unan­swered.

Her fa­ther Rod­er­ick Valasquez died in Ju­ly and she had to quit her job to care for her son. Her son was not in school be­cause the Mus­lim school he at­tend­ed in Clax­ton Bay sud­den­ly closed down about eight months ago. Un­able to pay the rent and ow­ing $9,000 in ar­rears, Valasquez and her son were evict­ed about a month af­ter her fa­ther died. They then moved in­to the pavil­ion.

Patrick “Box­er” Williams, a friend who lives next to the pavil­ion, said he was hap­py that God an­swered her prayers.

“One thing she al­ways had, that faith that God will help her,” he said as the tears welled.

Mus­lims of T&T PRO Im­ti­az Mo­hammed said the apart­ment will be lo­cat­ed in a safe com­mu­ni­ty with peo­ple who will be sup­port­ive of Valasquez and her son. In terms of find­ing them a per­ma­nent home, he said he spoke with Coun­cil­lor La-verne Smith and is al­so ex­pect­ed to meet with San Fer­nan­do West MP and At­tor­ney Gen­er­al Faris Al-Rawi yes­ter­day. He asked any­one will­ing to as­sist with the $2,000 rent for the apart­ment or any do­na­tions to con­tact him at 680-3460.

Mo­hammed said they had al­so made some head­way in track­ing down Valasquez’s moth­er and he ex­pects some feed­back soon.

- by Sascha Wilson

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