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Rays of Home hope almost complete

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - The Department of Mental Health says the Rays of Hope Home in Tamuning is just about complete, but there are still some minor issues that may set back the project quite a bit. Students under the Rays of Hope program have been situated in temporary facilities for the past eight months.

After numerous deadlines set forth to have Mental Health complete the repair and renovations of the Tamuning facility, the agency's director says the building is just about ready for occupancy. Mental Health was given until tomorrow to make the fixes. Wilfred Aflague says he met with Department of Public Works inspectors and engineers last week along with the guam power authority.

Aflague says there are still issues within the building that need to be addressed, noting, "For now, they say they need to replace those lines. The lines are okay. They conducted testing last week. They're fine. But we're going to, for safety reasons, we're going to upgrade and work on those lines so that we don't have to worry about any electrical fires."

While the deadline for repairs is set for tomorrow, Aflague says with this minor set back, the facility may not be ready until the end of the week. Mental Health has spent about $190,000 to fix the house. Aflague continued, "Of course, we had to fork out the money from our local account and now we're in the process of processing documents to submit to BBMR, who will request the department of interior to reimburse us for these expenditures."

Other officials like Guam Legal Services executive director Harold Parker had voiced concerns in the past, saying they weren't sure what Mental Health plans for the facility; but according to Aflague, the building will be used specifically for the Rays of Hope program.

He told KUAM News, "At the last hearing, in judge ingles court on January 24, I stated to the judge that the Rays of Hope building in Tamuning is going to maintain the Rays of Hope program - a day treatment and the education component. And so that I hope ends all speculations on what it's going to be or not."

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