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USVI Community Pulse

September Benefits at Stake: Crucial Notice for SNAP/CASH Households on Upcoming Document Deadlines



The Department of Human Services of the Virgin Islands (DHS) has recently sounded the alarm for all households enrolled in the SNAP/CASH programs. The crux of the matter is this: if you’ve received any form of communication from the VIDHS SNAP Office, you need to pay close attention. This could be in the form of a Recertification Application, a Periodic Report, or any letter seeking further details.

Ensuring your benefits for the upcoming month of September 1, 2023, hinges on your prompt response to these communications. The message is loud and clear – all the necessary documents such as the Recertification Application, the Periodic Report, and any additional requests for information must be returned by their stipulated due dates.

Neglecting this crucial step might have unwelcome repercussions. Not only could there be a delay in your benefits being transferred to your card, but there’s also the looming threat of a complete case closure.

For those who are navigating this process for the first time, it’s pivotal to ensure the entire application package is filled out comprehensively. This package should be bolstered with copies of all necessary documents and duly affixed with your signature.

Contact Points for Queries:

If you’re in a quandary or need clarity, these are your go-to contact numbers:

  • St. Croix: (340)-772-7100 Ext. 7159; 7192
  • St. Thomas: (340)-774-0930 Ext. 4303; (340)-774-2399
  • St. John: (340)-774-0930 Ext. 4303; (340)-774-2399; (340)-776-6334; (340)-776-6335

Document Return Channels:

  • For St. Croix Residents:
    • Directly at: 41-B Mars Hill, Frederiksted, VI 00820
    • Through USPS: 4102 Mars Hill, Frederiksted, VI 00840-3376
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Drop-off: 41-B Mars Hill, Frederiksted, VI 00820
  • For St. Thomas & St. John Residents:
    • Directly or via USPS: 1303 Hospital Ground, St. Thomas, VI 00802
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Drop-off (St. Thomas): 1303 Hospital Ground, St. Thomas, VI 00802
    • Drop-off (St. John): Multipurpose Building, 307 Enighed, Contant, Cruz Bay, VI 00830

For those eager to keep an eye on their card balances, you can call 1-866-884-2868 or hop on over to

In wrapping up, the DHS emphatically advises all SNAP/CASH households to be punctual with these deadlines. This is the surest way to maintain an uninterrupted flow of your benefits.

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USVI Community Pulse

Celebrating Legacies: Proposals to Honor Ralph deChabert and Melbourne Clark in the USVI



The US Virgin Islands’ Committee on Government Operations, Veterans Affairs & Consumer Protection recently deliberated on two separate proposals, aiming to commemorate the noteworthy contributions of distinguished Virgin Islanders, Ralph deChabert and the late Melbourne Clark.

Dr. Ralph deChabert, renowned for his substantial contributions to the medical and civic realms, is being spotlighted in Bill 35-0102, with a proposition to dedicate the maternity services unit at Juan F. Louis Hospital North to his name. Testimonials highlighted his lifelong dedication to St. Croix, portraying him as a silent force with substantial influence and passion for the advancement of medicine in the territory. Dr. deChabert, often the sole trained obstetrician available on St. Croix, played pivotal roles in initiating crucial healthcare services and ensuring the safety and well-being of many during times of crisis, such as Hurricane Hugo.

Melbourne Clark, recognized through Bill 35-0125, is lauded for his unwavering service to law enforcement in the Virgin Islands. The proposed bill seeks to name Route 669 on St. Croix as Police Lieutenant Melbourne Clark Drive, celebrating his disciplined approach to maintaining law and order on the highways and his respected stature as a knowledgeable and attentive commander. Stories of his principled stance against traffic violations, contributing to public safety, have become part of local lore, illustrating his commitment to duty and his professional integrity.

These individuals’ remarkable journeys were recounted with warmth and respect, painting pictures of dedication, resilience, and impactful service to the Virgin Island communities. The committee members unanimously approved the proposals to honor these eminent personalities, sealing their legacies in the history of the Virgin Islands.

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USVI Community Pulse

Alleged Perpetrator of Frontline Bar Incident, Deray Smithen, Detained at Local Airport



ST. THOMAS — Authorities have successfully apprehended Deray Smithen, the chief suspect involved in the recent incident at Frontline Bar & Restaurant, as confirmed by the V.I. Police Department. He was detained on Tuesday at Cyril E. King Airport in St. Thomas.

The incident occurred in the early hours of Monday, resulting in two individuals suffering from gunshot wounds—a man, who is now in critical condition, and a woman who sustained minor injuries. They were immediately provided medical aid at Juan F. Luis Hospital.

Multiple eye-witness accounts and surveillance recordings pinpointed Smithen as the main perpetrator. It was reported that what started as a verbal spat at Frontline Bar & Restaurant escalated to a violent confrontation, leading to Smithen allegedly firing several rounds. The male victim received critical injuries, while a stray bullet grazed a woman trying to evade the turmoil.

Smithen, a 35-year-old man, reportedly arrived in St. Thomas by boat and intended to fly to the U.S. mainland. However, his plans were foiled when Customs and Border Protection agents at Cyril E. King Airport apprehended him, following an alert from the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

Smithen was previously described by the VIPD as a black male, around 5’10” tall, weighing approximately 210 lbs., with distinctive short, black hair, and brown eyes.

The local authorities continue to seek any additional insights or information regarding this case and urge the public to share relevant details. Persons with pertinent information are asked to contact the CIB Detectives at 340-778-4850 or the CIB tip line at 340-475-3871. Anonymous tips can also be provided to Crime Stoppers VI at 1-800-222-TIPS. In case of an emergency or immediate threat, please call 911.

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USVI Community Pulse

Domestic Altercation Escalates in St. Thomas; Vehicle Plunges Down Slope



In St. Thomas, an alarming domestic dispute unfolded as a man faces serious charges related to domestic violence after allegedly defying police orders and pushing a vehicle down an embankment. The incident reportedly involves legal and familial conflicts between the man and his wife.

Early Sunday morning, law enforcement responded to a call for assistance at a residence in Frydenhoj. A woman at the location requested police aid to retrieve possessions from her spouse, Chad JnoFinn, citing fears for her and her infant’s safety. She expressed her desire for JnoFinn to vacate the premises, where he resides with her and her child.

Documents reveal the woman informed officers about the dysfunctional state of her vehicle and her neighbor’s offer to transport her to work, which JnoFinn opposed. She accused him of endangering their child by placing them in front of the neighbor’s car and revealed previous threats of harm from JnoFinn, leading to multiple police interventions.

All assets, including their residence, vehicles, and a water delivery enterprise, are registered under the woman’s name. She solicited police assistance to secure the keys to one of the vehicles from JnoFinn, who was present during the police interaction.

JnoFinn conceded his lack of legal status in the territory and disclosed his contributions to the establishment of their business while his wife managed the financial aspects of their lives. He stated his willingness to relocate, contingent upon the transfer of the water truck to a neutral party, a proposal his wife rejected.

When instructed to surrender the vehicle keys, JnoFinn resisted, fleeing in the vehicle and proceeding to push it down an embankment. Despite police orders to desist, he succeeded in dislodging the vehicle, which landed on a construction site below. He subsequently surrendered, demanding incarceration and was charged with property destruction as an act of domestic violence.

The court mandated a $1000 bail, a restraining order, a daily curfew, and a prohibition on possessing dangerous weapons for JnoFinn during his pre-trial release, with a subsequent court date set for October 13.

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