Hagåtña, Guam – The Government of Guam has been approved for $3 million in federal funds to help shelter the island’s vulnerable population. The grant was awarded by the Department of the Interior under the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) COVID Technical Assistance Program (TAP).
The TAP grant will go toward the acquisition and operation of a permanent non-congregate shelter for the homeless population to protect from COVID-19 transmission and other infectious diseases, along with funding for personnel to operate the facility, furniture, safety equipment, and other essential items.
“While community transmission remains low, we must remain vigilant and do what is necessary to keep our island safe. This funding ensures we are able to continue providing the critical resources needed to protect Guam’s homeless population, provide them shelter, and prevent further spread of the virus,” said Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.
Last year, Governor Leon Guerrero signed Executive Order 2020-03, which established the Office of Homeless Assistance and Poverty Prevention (OHAPP). OHAPP is chaired by Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio in close coordination with the Mayors’ Council of Guam.
“Governor Leon Guerrero and I understood this need from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we established an emergency shelter at the Global Dorm in Maite. This grant will allow us to provide a permanent shelter and help address the complex issue of homelessness on Guam. We will continue to dedicate our efforts and resources to ensure homeless families, many of whom have young children, remain protected and sheltered,” said Lieutenant Governor Tenorio.
OHAPP continues to explore other options to expand services for the homeless families housed at the facility. As of last week, OHAPP reported 136 individuals from 37 households are sheltered at Global Dorm. Additionally, a student-learning center has been established in the facility to help school-aged children continue their studies and attend distance learning.
Guam was awarded a total of $12 million under the COVID TAP funds. The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration will use these funds to address the pandemic and mitigate its effects on the community. These projects address not just the health and safety of our community but also will address ways to aid in economic recovery.