Guam - According to the latest homeless count its estimated there are over 1,200 homeless people on Guam. A special program exists locally to curb those numbers.

One step closer to ending homelessness on island GHURA has received funding from HUD to create a new homeless program, the Y Jahame Permanent Housing Program. GHURA director Michael Duenas said, "The Y Jahame is going to be focused on chronic homeless individuals and families chronic homeless is basically defined as being homeless for at least one year or moving in and out of homelessness over that one year period."

The program was developed by Catholic Social Services after the transitional housing program called the Le'hang Program. After evaluation of that program CSC came up with a more focused plan the Y Jahame. "Their focus on this program with $110,000 is as little as eight individuals or sixteen or however many they are in a 8-unit apartment complex that they own," said Duenas.

The program will be managed by Catholic Social Services to provide housing and supportive services to the chronically homeless and persons with disabilities unlike the Le'hang Program there is no arbitrary transition timeline set instead participants will be given as much time as they need to transition out of the program.

"The assistance is basically will cover rent and utilities as well as case management to help those individuals and families identify the root causes of their homelessness," said Duenas.

In this regard the families that are being targeted usually have underlying issues like disabilities or chronic substance issues and so the program is focused on offering assistance to chronic homeless individuals rather than those just entering homelessness.

Duenas says that GHURA is trying to get the program up and running as soon as possible and anticipate it to begin in 60 to 75 days. As of now they are waiting for grant documents before they can enter into a sub recipient agreement with CSC. He adds that the eight unit apartment complex will be near UOG.