by Nick Delgado
Guam - The temporary closure of the Rays of Hope Home has delayed the education of children with mental illnesses. And during last night's confirmation hearing on the appointment of Wilfred Alfague to serve as the Department of Mental Health director, the issue surrounding the Tamuning facility was brought up.
Members of the community and lawmakers were concerned about the facility's closure. Aflague testified that it was not permanent and repairs to the facility are a priority, saying, "It's just a change of venue. I have an obligation as owner of the building to make sure its safe and sound to make sure for education to occur that is one of the laws we have to abide by the adequate education act so that's all that ray of hope is going through."
He also said, "I don't have the timeline in mind; all I can tell you senator is as soon as possible."
A scope of work as well as a request for proposal still needs to be crafted for the work. It is estimated it could six months before clients will be able to return to the Rays of Hope Home, unless, as senators pointed out, the governor intervenes to expedite repairs.
Aflague told senators that's an alternative he is pursuing. Otherwise, Aflague received confirmation received positive testimony.