LifestyleLocalNews Social Welfare Division Streamlines Assistance Programmes by: – December 17, 2019 359 Views one comment Share Share Chief Welfare Officer, Leroy Morvan says the process of acquiring public assistance will soon be more streamlined with the establishment of a record of public assistance.A document is has been drafted with guidelines that would rectify the issue of welfare officers having differing views of who qualifies for assistance.Morvan said, “After Hurricane Maria, when UNICEF came onboard, they found some loopholes in the public assistance programme. They founded the public Assistance Operation Manual. It is still in draft form, and has been presented for Cabinet’s approval. This manual would be a guide: who should qualify, who should not qualify, among other things. So the manual would help guide officers as to how they go about doing investigation for public assistance, and even to investigate child care matters.”The Chief Welfare Officer says following approval from Cabinet, each welfare officer will be asking the same questions, and seeking the same indications in determining the applicants who qualify for public assistance.There is also a project through which all forms of government welfare will have the same database and public assistance will be recorded.Morvan explained, “We are developing our database system, and information management system. The information we will getting will be placed in our system, and we will be able to bettertrack persons who are on public assistance.“What we are trying to do, after we update, or have our system fully operational, we would like it to be linked with other social programmes islandwide. For instance, Education Trust would have their own system. So they could be linked and no one person could benefit from all the programs at the same time.” Tweet Sharing is caring! Share
Erskine-Hellrigel, ever the rebel, chose a first-generation beast. “When I first got her, I couldn’t turn my back on her and walk out of a room; I used to have to back out of a room facing her,” Erskine-Hellrigel said. “If you run from a puma, they have that prey instinct that kicks in and they come after you. The same with her.” Zulie, now 6, has mellowed. Her daily diet of five cans of cat food has packed on some pounds – she weighs 19pounds to be exact – but she’s no slacker. Barely retracting her three-quarter-inch claws, Zulie chases the dancing red light cast by adoptive dad Don Hellrigel’s laser level rather than pursuing her former prey: clueless opossums, gophers, lizards and husky raccoons who wandered in the jungle-like garden at the couple’s Newhall home. In the old days, Zulie stashed her prizes in a den she made herself, which caused Erskine-Hellrigel to restrain her with a leash and halter during outings. Now, she’s content to sit atop a slumpstone fence, staring down the neighbor’s dog or watching TV – she dislikes static news anchors but perks up for wildfires and cartoons. NEWHALL In her childhood, Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel volunteered at the local nature center and raised a bobcat. That early experience with wild felines must have left its mark because, when she adopted a cat five years ago, she didn’t go for an ordinary kitty – she chose a Bengal. The exotic domesticated cats are a hybrid of small Asian leopard cats and domestic cats, prized for their showy coats and pleasing dispositions. After four generations of cross-breeding, they make suitable pets, but The family computer is her new favorite toy, which the cat has learned to turn on while Erskine-Hellrigel is away. “When I come home, it’s on; she’s been playing with the computer,” she said. “She pushes the mouse and smacks the cursor. She’s put together that mouse and cursor go together.” Erskine-Hellrigel, 55, is not imagining things. “The Bengals are more intelligent and a lot more interactive than any other cat I know,” said Canie Brooks, membership secretary for the International Bengal Cat Society, which counts 800 members worldwide. Brooks said she wanted an ocelot for a pet. “But now we have Bengals, which are domestic leopards that give (you) the look of the wild in your home, and they’re loving little things,” she said. Zulie loves her “mom,” often demanding reassuring kisses and strokes throughout the night after Erskine- Hellrigel returns from one of her many adventures. Don accepts his secondary role, allowing, “I have my place in her order of things.” Erskine-Hellrigel has kept more than 30 cats over the years, the oldest one living to 25. The animal lover rescued two other Bengals from a shelter, both fourth generation, one for a close friend and the other for her daughter, Christina Abney, 34. “They seem like they’re too smart for their bodies,” said Abney, an Orange County bank manager. Her cat, Belle, navigates the home as if it were a rustic outcropping, lunging atop the refrigerator and padding across high cabinets, bouncing from the second-story landing onto the entertainment center, then plopping on the couch beside her owners. During Erskine-Hellrigel’s acting career that began when she was 4 and spanned 26 years, she performed in more than 100 commercials and feature films. She has written screenplays, owned and operated an antiques store, is compiling an authoritative tome on California wildflowers, and, until last year, operated “Murder Express,” a murder-mystery entertainment business. She gave it up to volunteer at the Placerita Canyon Nature Center, performing trail maintenance and shepherding programs, and at the Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority. She is also an avid lobbyist for the California Wild Heritage Campaign, hoping to preserve untouched lands for generations to come. Erskine-Hellrigel, who was raised in the small Northern California town of Danville, speaks four foreign languages – Mandarin, Spanish, German, French – and understands some Italian and Portuguese. It’s served her well in her travels to Tibet – where she climbed 25,000 feet up the north side of MountEverest – China, Japan, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Bolivia. On her to-do list this year are Bhutan, East Africa and India. Her dad worked in public relations, her mom was a homemaker, and Erskine-Hellrigel attributes her wanderlust to the travels of her mentors, her aunt and uncle. As a child, Erskine-Hellrigel performed on the Art Linkletter show and easily responded to the host’s query about what she wanted to be when she grew up: a butterfly. “I’m still flitting from thing to thing and place to place – and loving it,” she said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!