Warehouses, containers eyed for conversion into housing for homeless

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Lt. Gov Josh Tenorio, who chairs the committee, said they are exploring resources to convert warehouses into non-congregate facilities. (PNC file photo)

The procurement of a new homeless facility in Tamuning has again been delayed but the government’s homeless interagency group is looking at other options — including warehouse conversions and container units as alternative housing.

GovGuam currently operates the Global Dorm in Maite which started housing homeless individuals in July to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the island’s unsheltered population.

With the shelter now reaching its capacity, the interagency committee started looking at other options.

Lt. Gov Josh Tenorio, who chairs the committee, said they are exploring resources to convert warehouses into non-congregate facilities. He said prior to the pandemic, warehouses can be used for congregate shelter but the public health emergency directive barred these facilities from being used for this purpose.

Container units are also being inspected to make sure that they pass building codes, according to Tenorio. As of yesterday, the inspection is not yet complete but he expects the review to be completed in the next few days or so.

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“Unfortunately we don’t have a facility yet in the Tamuning or Tumon area. There is an open procurement at GSA. I would just say that if there are property owners of apartment complexes or other facilities that are interested in registering their facility for use as a shelter, that they should contact General Services,” Tenorio said.

As of this week, Tenorio said there are around 70 people currently sheltering at Global Dorm and 27 of those being sheltered are children. More individuals are being screened.

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