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Why don't I actually use the homeless own. How many are homeless. Why are they homeless and who wore it day to night own viewpoint. Why. Are. Picture.
Tonight on viewpoint we address the question of yes home to hundreds perhaps thousands of people who do not have a home. First we speak with the professionals the service providers who daily address the homeless situation and the needs of the homeless population of the island. Then we speak with an expert a woman who is with us her personal story of homelessness in this tropical paradise. We welcome to the viewpoint studio Mr. Jesse Cata hay the development director of the Catholic social service as well as the chairman of the Homeless Coalition as well
as Major Dave Harmon the core officer of the Salvation Army Corps Welcome gentleman. And tonight our topic is the homeless. And first does one have a significant homeless population. But we have a significant homeless situation is one. So. How many are they and who are they. Well the first question that's a kind of a hard one to answer because often the homeless are in places where it's hard to see them and I think you know we do a homeless count every year or so every two years required by the federal government and our council of ranged from eight or nine hundred to as much as fourteen hundred. But I don't think we really that's all we can count in one day. Instructions from the federal government that this is a one day point in time count and we get out there
and count as many as we can. Yes but I doubt very much if we reach all of them I really think a better measure of how many homeless people we have on this after a big typhoon like a lot of our pocket when you check the shelters and you find about 3000 people are living in the shelters after a typhoon. What does that mean in the in the in the breakdown by nationality. Again another hard question to answer but I think the statistics. Yes I think you know those pretty pretty well I've heard you say that before. For to morrow's actually the biggest population which is the biggest population it's forty nine point seventy eight percent. So that's. A big percentage of the home. There's the second largest that fifteen point eight percent. And Keisha's represented 6 6.5. Percent and Filipinos at two point sixty two percent.
Any reasons as to why or why they're homeless or the same reasons as what you would find in the United States. I think again some of them some of the reasons are the same loss of job. Family breaks. Single mom of kids even actions. Illness those kinds of things and we do have all of the percentages of what some of them are a little different you know. We do have an immigration a lot of immigrants living on the island and it even is hard to determine whether or not a person is homeless. This is one of the things that we go over a lot every time we go out to do a count. When we when our 30 some teams go out what actually is homelessness as it is a family living in in the boonies as we say. You go in a structure made of some scrap plywood and tin with a dirt floor. Is that a homeless family if you ask them they say no we this is our home. So
its getting is a little hard to pin down you know facts and figures because of the situation we have here and why we see kinds of shelters that are good that some families would consider when they would be able survivals in a winter you know like Michigan or Minnesota or somewhere where the machine is it where they weather whether it's very harsh. But one of the reasons we don't see them Jackie is they don't want to be saying you know people that are homeless don't really you know they don't want to walk around with a placard that says I am homeless. One common denominator if you will between the national figures figures who is victims of family violence. That's what the national figures are saying biggest. Group with between family violence and some family related problems sort of looking at up. Actually forty five point two percent of those homeless are the cost of some
family problems. Loss of job. About 25 percent of mental illness 22 percent. Money management. September 3 1. Well I think that the overriding cost basically is the increasing rapidly increasing cost of buying a home. And that's we see that look when you see that. Even higher in the mainland so those are two two common factors. Any ideas to suddenly the age of these people that are homeless. Lease shelters program is under Catholic social service and we see it varies. The youngest I've seen a 16 year old. With two children and the oldest probably about 50 60 some 60s. So you know it. It doesn't have. Certain boundaries or comes to HUAC senior citizens we have a shelter for that also all
seen persons with disabilities that were victims of five times of the homeless so we count about half of the home the situations we find have about children. We get half of them are. Adult about children so this is about half of the homeless situations on the island involve children so they do it we have a lot of homeless children are gone. Do they have options to help themselves. What options are out there. Well actually with we're finding that the options are getting to be limited. Regards to the emergency only shelter last year a homeless shelter which is the only homeless shelter had to go through. There were 300 on the waiting list because there were not enough beds. So but that that would be their one option. Shelters and other. Go for specific specifically for victims of family violence. We have a
30 unit transitional housing for homeless individuals and these are basically individuals that come from MSM say but the order to run the program we have to charge a minimum rental which is very nominal at that which is about 250 or some to be less than that. We do house families in our aftercare program which is rent assistance. Many of our Are residents of the Rent Assistance Program are single men but a number of them have families and children living with them. So I think we also have a way sis which has about four or five beds for four women. OK. And decor sanctuary with you. So we have some good resources available. I think outreach is important we're trying to increase our outreach and try to reach out to some of the homeless that we made and homeless count and encourage them to get involved in some of the programs. But we do need more beds. We do need more low cost housing would be more subsidized housing.
Is it possible to eradicate homelessness. Well the president thinks so and that's because he's given that commitment. To provide whatever resources are needed. I think that with the governor and legislature getting together that we can grab a cape or homeless situation or wherever there are certain certain services that we need to put in place to put a heavy emphasis it cafe social services and the Salvation Army and I'm sure although they have no sanctuary to train people to be self-sufficient. OK. Because of that that's a that's a big part of it. We don't want to just put a Band-Aid on the problem want to get the ruby sort of sources was right a lot of homelessness in a sense is just a symptom. It's a symptom of a deeper problem. Yes. So so we really have to get at the get the deeper problems some of that has to do with immigration from a culture that's familiar to a culture that's very unfamiliar very different.
And some of it has to do with behavior that causes people to be incarcerated. And we have to that behavior doesn't necessarily change during the period of time that they're incarcerated so we have to have these programs. We may be able to reach a point where there are very few homeless people left on line. But we are always going to have to have the programs that address homelessness. There's a moment we take away these programs our homeless population is back what services to that that perhaps a viewer could participate in. I think first of all what you're doing is important just making people aware of homelessness. That's the number one step. And once people are aware once a community is talking about it then I think the best thing to do is support the programs we have in place. We have some really quality programs in place and support them support Catholic Social Services Salvation Army sanctuary away says you know there are organizations that deal with homelessness. It's something
that we've been working on really for a number of years is to try to engage the business community. And now they're starting to understand that if we're going to be marketed well there's going to be marketed as a tourist destination tourists do not want to see social problems they don't want to be I suppose the homeless people who are begging or who are worse that you know purses or whatever. And businessmen for a long time and have business women have not understood that and now they are beginning to understand the connection. So I think we're seeing the beginnings of some support from our business community and we really need that growing up on an island. I certainly have. Have experienced having relationships and friendships in family friends and yes they did live in a in a tin shack. And yet here we are in you know in this century in a very modern society. How do we help these folks kind of make that
transition. It's a very fuzzy areas and the concepts on this as well recently we've become aware a number of us have been aware for years but recently the whole island has become aware of what it can do the environment when we have families that are living in substandard housing with more portly sub standard sub standard sewer water. You know the health problems it causes those are things that have been a concern in Jesse and his organization and my organization and many others for a number of years and now we're starting to see that brought to light. And that's a great concern. We have a number of families living above the Northern Water lands that are putting sewer into the into the soil. Quickly making its way down into our drinking water. You want people to decide what way of life they have thier best we could do is just major measure of this to
try and educate them as to whether some of the health problems that can be associated with living a certain condition especially no floors by the skin skin ailments starts a mosquito bite they scratch it or gets affected. You see a number of children I know Jesse dust with bodies covered with sores. So in the end its actually the individual so the solution as to what lifestyle they would have. Our thanks to Major harmony Mr. Cathy hay for showing us the big picture. Now we hear from an individual perspective one of our very own who spent years without a real home. She courageously agreed to share with us her story. I mean it just mean more than. You 1994. This area was a bus stop. I put in a home for myself. I was homeless. And there was nowhere else to go. So I started out here and my commission might not know I think
that that's my home. It was. Black on the windows and I was not facing the public. Facing. This way. So that way nobody will see me. And also. The point there. I think this is a. Safe Place for me to stay. In this. Area. That's what I think little. When I was homeless. When I say I. And. A lot of people in the ME ALREADY because I'm constantly over here I would go along to places like my friend's house to come back and come back to my home like I told home to the bus about. I come back again. This is the area where this bus stop. Right that's
me. And I sleep here. Whenever. And even how many hours. And then. I am more secure here with. This secure menace. I mean the security. With me checking around this area. Who is here. What are we doing here and I. Don't. I don't have a house. And I just. Conceal my bag of clothes. And stuff I'm. Bringing. That. Was. My home.
Area. Just. Like back there. At.
The back. Of my condition. But. When I have. My. Time. And it. Plays A. Warning. I. Started. My. I. Used to. Spend my time here. It's. A lot of. My. My me no. Time.
For me. Down. Time they always bothered me. Which. I don't work. And got nothing. When. I went. On. And. To get more. For myself. A lot of. Trying. To do for myself.
I went. And took myself. By myself but. I think. I was lucky in. Doing that at home. Michael if you have any empathy or even have the strength or even the knowledge or whatever you think. You would get somewhere if you put any effort. Or effort. To it and. That way. You won't. Even. Let me. Define is. What I've done is a home a place where I can stay here of the Living Program apartments which are entered here. Through. Goma San Jose which I was there for four times. And they told me that I can. Qualify for this program. So then the no say. Entered my application. Then I was process there and I was taken. So when they gave me a housing.
I was glad with you know I was excited and so much of joy that I can at least relax. Get some. Things out of my mind. So I don't have to worry. So I. Go years later when my mommy and they help me with violence programs the art classes. Then know where this is. They gave me. A job which I was put as women. For the budgeting. Program. Service cannot be given to you if you don't tell them what the service you need. And then if the service you need to be done how can they do it if we don't tell them. Even with the Catholic social service they provide me. And even Terry that. Has provided me a lot of service which I was even and schooling. With. All the other even being taking care of myself when I'm you know spans of. Will. And my age.
Maybe I'm thinking I don't need it but I still need it. And also. I went through a lot of the live work. Life Time works with the Salvation schoolings Salvation Army schooling. And. Of all those I have learned a lot from that school in that I went through. That now I'm also getting my I'm going to my DD class. And I still want to. Get my diploma which I never got it since I. Was a teenager. I take this computer. For learning so I can get into other ways of people I can communicate even not leaving my home. Which I don't have the. Old equipments with it. But learning to use the computer. I can talk to you right now. And then you can get my message right there and then I don't have to leave my home. And then learning all of this also I take it up with my GED class went
to my mommy and all the other programs Salvation Army. Does it and all those other programs. With. Their help me and now it's my turn to help them. A lot of other peoples out there. Will need the service of being homeless. But if they have. You know more courage and more. Energy even to make a step into it. They could get a lot. When I'm here at home I can relax. Take my ease out of where I went. And then the following morning I have the energy to go again now to go out again. To do what I'm always usually doing helping these Able companies which I myself disable. To make a good impression of themselves. What the company's been through you. And the last of you people you know that has. For them to learn. Is if you don't have the will. There will be a way.
There is never a way for you if you don't have the will or the guts and you. You know all the things you can say God has given you the grace. Who are given you what everything I have. I mean I didn't have. No I have it. And I didn't cost me any penny but it is through people that I help. And now they're helping me. So I'm saying returns I help them back. And not doing anything. And you know the same position you are right now. Thanks again to Major Dave Harmon of the Salvation Army and Mr. Jesse Cathy hay of the Catholic Social Services. And thank you Miss Josephine Cortez for painting us a new picture of a homeless person. See you next time. One viewpoint.
Producing Organization
PBS Guam
Contributing Organization
PBS Guam (Mangilao, Guam)
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Episode Description
In this episode, host Jacquie Ronan speaks with three people about homelessness in Guam. First, she interviews Major Dave Harmon, the officer in charge of the Salvation Army Guam Corps, and Jesse Catahay, who works with the Guam Homeless Coalition. Josephine Cortez, a previously homeless woman in Guam, also speaks about her experience of homelessness in Guam.
Episode Description
This item is part of the Pacific Islanders section of the AAPI special collection.
Series Description
Viewpoint is a public affairs magazine featuring episodes focused on local community issues affecting Guam.
Created Date
Asset type
Talk Show
Social Issues
Local Communities
KGTFTV 12 Production 2006
Media type
Moving Image
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Host: Jacquie Ronan
Producer: Jacquie Ronan
Producer: Jefferson Shaw Cronin
Producing Organization: PBS Guam
Publisher: KGTF TV 12
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 3415.0 (PBS Guam Studio)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Master
Duration: 00:25:25
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Chicago: “ViewPoint; Homeless,” 2006-05-02, PBS Guam, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024,
MLA: “ViewPoint; Homeless.” 2006-05-02. PBS Guam, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <>.
APA: ViewPoint; Homeless. Boston, MA: PBS Guam, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from