by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is working to build a group home that will allow several consumers who are being treated off-island to return back to Guam. Dr. James Kiffer, one half of the federal management team set to oversee the operations of Mental Health, says the home will be designed and built for eight people using Compact impact funding.
Dr. Kiffer says it costs taxpayers $525 per day for these individuals to be cared for off-island and that building the group home locally will result in significant savings. He said of the intent of the project, "This will be a cost savings to the government, and to have them back here in a group home where treatment. I think crunching some numbers...it would cost $132 a day as opposed to $525, so a huge savings and they're on the island and even though they've been gone for a long time their roots are still here."
Taxpayers have spent more than $7 million just for two consumers who were sent off-island 17 and 19 years ago, respectively, to receive adequate care. The team says once the home is built, efforts will be made to bring the consumers back home.