Guam Homeless Coalition raises $8,836 during telethon
The Guam Homeless Coalition held their virtual “Give Hope Telethon” on Facebook Live, Thursday.
The virtual event featured interviews with advocates and agency representatives who discussed the different issues Guam’s homeless community faces and highlighted ways others can help.
“The biggest area of focus that Catholic Social Services, as a member of the Guam Homeless Coalition, focuses on is creating awareness that homelessness can occur to anyone at any given time,” said Diana Calvo, executive director of Catholic Social Services.
Calvo said circumstances that lead to homelessness are often catastrophic such as a severe medical condition, becoming unemployed or losing possession of a house.
During a panel discussion, the question of what homeless individuals asked for the most was raised.
“They’ve lost documentation because they are such a transient population they don’t have the correct documentation to apply for other services needed such as ID’s and birth certificates,” said Mayor’s Council of Guam Vice President Robert Hoffman.
What he has done is allow homeless individuals to store some of these critical documents in locked file cabinets in his office to prevent them from being damaged from the weather or stolen.
Salvation Army officials mentioned that the main request is food, especially deliveries to those with a physical or mental disability. There is also a high demand for hygiene products like diapers said Salvation Army Capt. Kari Rudd.
“Primarily if we’re speaking towards a homeless population, it’s the basics — food and shelter — but there is always the need for assistance with job security, whether it’s completing a high school diploma or a GED or just navigating that system,” said Sanctuary Incorporated of Guam Executive Director Victor Camacho.
WestCare Pacific also participated in the telethon to emphasize their work in assisting homeless veterans.
One way the non-profit helps veterans is by providing financial assistance to those who are in danger of becoming homeless and need help paying rent.
A problem some veterans have is trouble readjusting to society and feeling alienated from the community, said WestCare Pacific Islands Vice President of Operations Aja Ramos.
The telethon closed with the premiere screening of the documentary “Heart but No Home” by Father Francis Hezel. The film featured interviews with homeless individuals and agency directors to discuss more issues and solutions.
Musical guests that performed in between speakers were the band Short Stories and musician Eric Borja. The event ended with the Guam Homeless Coalition raising $8,836 in donations.
Office of Homelessness Assistance and Poverty Prevention Executive Director Sarah Thomas Nededog hoped the telethon would help people understand the extent of homelessness, its causal factors and how average citizens can help make an impact.
Monetary donations will still be accepted on the Guam Homeless Coalition website until Sunday.