The chairman of the Senate Committee on Youth and Social Welfare revealed that the Palau Community Association of Guam (PCAG) is going to work with two Guam-based agencies to address the concern over report of homeless Palauans in Guam.
Senator Regis Akitaya, who chairs the Youth and Social Welfare Committee (YSWC), has confirmed in a letter to Senate President Hokkons Baules dated February 22 that indeed the report that there are 19 homeless Palauans in Guam is true.
Akitaya had personally travelled to Guam on February 12-13 to meet members of the Guam Homeless Coalition (GHC)and Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority (GHURA), the two agencies who released the Guam Homeless Point-In Time report in 2018 that identified 19 homeless Palauans.
Akitaya said that he had a detailed discussion with the members of the two organizations and learned that majority of the homeless Palauans in Guam live in north Dededo (swamp road).
The 19 Palauans, according to Akitaya, are listed as homeless because their housing conditions do not meet the U.S Housing and Urban Development Standards (HUD).
“Most [of their] dwellings are composed of incomplete shelters,” Akitaya stated in the letter.
Akitaya revealed that the agencies had agreed the PCAG will participate in site surveys and to help the identified Palauans get out of the homeless list. He also added that GHURA has a “First Time” homeowners program which has already helped two Palauan families through home loans.
“This is a great sign that we can put a great dent in the homeless situation in Guam,” Akitaya said. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)