Coalition working to find affordable housing for the homeless

The Guam Homeless Coalition released its Housing and Homelessness Action Framework for 2023, which will serve as a guide to homelessness response on Guam through 2028. PNC file photo

The Guam Homelessness Coalition is trying to find landlords that are willing to help the homeless.

The Guam Homeless Coalition is a group of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private sector organizations that come together for the purpose of responding to the needs of homeless youths, families, single adults, and mainstream agencies that provide supportive services for the homeless.

GHC’s mission is to empower individuals and families who are homeless (or at risk of homelessness) to achieve self-sufficiency by providing support through awareness, education, and advocacy.

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In an interview with NewsTalk K57’s Patti Arroyo, GHC Chairwoman Samantha Taitano stated that there is still an issue with a lack of affordable housing.

Members of GHC do have grants that allow them to place people into housing. However, there is a severe lack of housing that is within the budget of the grants.

“The problem is there really is a lack of housing that kind of sits within the amount that our federal agencies say that can be used. There’s a lack of affordable housing for individuals, so this is something that the coalition is constantly talking about, in trying to figure out how to work together with landlords. To try to figure out how we can make it more affordable or find spaces within apartment complexes that would work within our budget,” Taitano said.

Taitano further stated that GHC is constantly on the lookout for landlords who are willing to assist. She said federal agencies are providing GHC with the money so landlords are guaranteed rent in exchange for their services.

GHC does provide caseworkers and other services to help with the reintegration process from homelessness to having a home.

GHC also recognizes that those going through the reintegration process can be challenging tenants. However, it is ultimately up to the landlords whether or not they can help with the process.

“We recognize that sometimes those who are going back into housing can be challenging tenants at times. Sometimes that can kind of make people not want to rent to these programs. We want to reassure them that we do our best as the coalition, as the organization that are placing them… there are some programs that don’t have those support services but a lot of the programs do. We try our best to help our clients as they go through the process,” Taitano said.

At present, there are talks of a possible dorm-like temporary housing being planned for the homeless. But nothing is confirmed yet.