October 12, 2017 (Hagåtña) – Governor Eddie Baza Calvo and First Lady Christine Calvo celebrate this morning as the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the first foster children shelter on island.
“Our island is in an upward trajectory, we’ve come a long way in the last several years. But a true measure of our humanity as a society is in how we treat others – particularly those that are the most vulnerable,” Governor Calvo stated.
“We have responsibilities to care for those who have not the ability to care for themselves, and that’s all of us. We all come together and we serve that greater purpose that I think we’ve all been brought forth into this world. The First Lady quoted a Bible verse that talks about blessings that overflow. I believe once your cup is full, it is your duty to share your blessings with others around you, so that you are lifting everyone around you up as well.”
Governor Calvo thanked everyone who had a hand in the project. He also shared his appreciation to First Lady Christine Calvo for being the “heart and soul” of the administration.
“Thank you for putting me in the right direction, and thank you all. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for what you have done in illustrating that this community, this island called Guam, is an island built on faith and built on love,” the Governor stated.
The contract was awarded to P & E Construction at the amount of $1.1 million. The construction will take about 270 days. This project was funded by the Department of Interior Compact Impact Grant.
“This project is truly a blessing. As a child, the world can be a big and sometimes scary place. Foster homes and shelters like the one that will stand here provide security and comfort, which is important for everyone, but should be our priority as we help children through a turbulent period in their lives. This emergency shelter reminds our foster children that they are never alone and that they are loved,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio said.
DPHSS Director James Gillan, along with cabinet members, Board members of the Rigalu Foundation, DLM and DPW were all present to witness the groundbreaking.
“This week we had 46 referrals, which was fairly low – we generally have 70 referrals. That is ten a day. With all the struggle we faced, we finally have a place for these children under these referrals,” Gillan said. The time it took to get this thing to where it is, took a lot of patience – and if anyone that was going to make sure it was done, it was the First Lady.” Director Gillan added.
The First Lady thanked all of those instrumental for making the emergency shelter a reality. “Thank you so much to my husband, who supported this project, and ultimately understanding what this shelter means for our children and our island. I am so grateful for the angels at the Rigalu Foundation, Public Health, and the many organizations who work tirelessly to protect and help our foster children.”