How big of a problem is homelessness on Guam? - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

How big of a problem is homelessness on Guam?

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You may see the island's homeless population at the island's popular intersections or at the beach.  Some find shelter in abandoned buildings. But, just how big of a problem is homelessness on Guam?

That's the purpose of this upcoming event.

Beaches and abandoned buildings are just a few sites you may spot the island's homeless population. These trends can change - that's why the Guam Homeless Coalition conducts its annual Point-In-Time homeless count.

John Blas is a PIT Count Coordinator, and told KUAM News, "Every last Friday of the month of January every year, that's the one day where we get volunteer and partners to join us in going out into the community to basically do a survey of our homeless population, and basically that's what we do is getting a snapshot of what the homeless population is like for that one day."

Statistics from the 2017 count have not yet been finalized, but preliminary findings show there has been a slight decrease in the homeless population since the previous year. "Although it sounds like a good thing, it's also possible that those numbers have decreased only because we haven't met up with those individuals who are actually homeless," he added.

But it's not just about the numbers. The count also aims to identify homeless individuals that may be in need of special assistance. "That's one of the reasons why we want to do this count every year, is not only to do the count but actually to come into contact with these individuals to see if they actually need services," he said.

The Point-In-Time homeless count will take place on Friday, January 26. The Guam Homeless Coalition is looking for volunteers to serve as enumerators. Volunteers must be at least 18 and be able to attend a mandatory one-day training.

If you would like to participate, you can call Blas at 969-0234.

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