David and Christine moved to the Caribbean island of Saint Maarten 12 years ago, where they ran a successful business and enjoyed a comfortable life. Then, Hurricane Irma hit, destroying their home and livelihood.
Having survived the hurricane and its aftermath, David and Christine were evacuated to the UK. With no home and no access to any of their savings, they were forced to join the homeless register. The next few weeks proved to be extremely fraught as they undertook the arduous and at times demoralising task of trying to access state support.
Emergency accommodation was provided but they were moved every few days and, with no provision for food or transport, they began to run up significant debts on their credit card.
The process started to take its toll on them, both mentally and physically. David recalls:
“It was a very stressful time. We were constantly on the move and not getting much sleep. The whole experience felt degrading and demeaning.”
It was David’s friend and a member of his lodge in Cheshire who suggested they contact the MCF. Following an initial enquiry, an emergency grant of £500 was quickly approved to help cover their immediate expenses.