Guam's foster children one step closer to receiving a special gi - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam's foster children one step closer to receiving a special gift

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It's been in the making since 2011 - and earlier this week  the First Lady's Rigalu Foundation broke ground on the Department of Public Health's Foster care home in Barrigada. First Lady Christine Calvo, who spearheaded the project, gave an emotional and heartfelt thank you to all those involved.

"Today, we break ground for building that will bring hope security comfort to the most vulnerable among us - our foster children," Calvo announced.  "Since the day I met the children from the Alee Shelter with Sister Bridgit, I will never forget the feeling that I had and thinking perhaps the Good Lord placed this responsibility in my heart. When this project was just a glimmer in my heart, I did not know how I was going to make it happen and I was so blessed because I was able to get the help."

The project was a long time coming. At one point officials were not even sure if they had the land to build the home. But soon after, the Chamorro Land Trust Commission selected land in Barrigada for the facility after Guam law authorized Governor Eddie Calvo.

Director for the Department of Public Health and Social Services, James Gillan says on average his agency receives 70 referrals a week - that's 10 foster care referrals a day. "We can no longer stick our heads in the sand and say, "It's okay, Public Health will take care of them'. It takes everybody to take care of these kids," he explained.

"We'll give them the best that we can, we'll treat them just like any other kid on this island. That was the major objective: to give them a home that doesn't look like an orphanage that's not stacking kids warehousing kids and make them a part of the community get them involved in the education system do all of the things to not make them feel like the other. They are us - they are part of our community."

Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio, who was a foster child himself, had this message. "Your past doesn't have to be your future," he offered. "You can outlive and outrun, and outwork and outthink all the things that made you a foster child or be able to find yourself in a dismal condition."

The home is expected to be completed on July 9, 2018.

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