Mother and son homeless for a month due to miscommunication
by Jolene Toves
Guam - It is a story of goodwill and helping a person in need. Over a month ago a woman and her son were wrongfully evicted from their home and left to wander the streets with suitcase in hand. The mother and son are participants under GHURA's Section 8 program and were renting a home in the Harmon area when their landlord informed them that their GHURA contract was terminated and they needed to move out.
With nowhere to go the two wandered the streets moving from village pavilions to sidewalks and parks where ever they could find shelter, not knowing what to do until one family's of act kindness.
Carina Su and her family opened their hearts and home to the woman and her son helping them resolve the matter.
But how was something like this able to happen? GHURA director Michael Duenas explained, saying, "We became aware of a potential program violation and our staff discussed it with the head of household and basically said this has to be resolved and if it can't be resolved satisfactorily then we have to terminate you from the program."
But according to Duenas the matter was resolved and it was determined there was no need to terminate the family from the program only informed that she must move from a smaller unit to a two bedroom unit he says that's where things fell apart. "The landlord was also involved in these discussions and the woman was basically informed that she had to go and look for a two bedroom it seems that the landlord decided that to terminate their lease without notifying us and unfortunately the family didn't notify GHURA either," he said.
But the landlord continued to collect rent from the Section 8 program despite terminating the lease, with Duenas adding, "It wasn't until later on when a concerned individual contacted GHURA and tried to get more information on what was happening."
It was Su and her family that brought light to the situation, as she said, "As soon as we realized what had happened the family was given a two-bedroom voucher and instructed to go search for they were able to find one quickly."
As for the landlord who pocketed one month's rent, GHURA has since taken the steps to ensure rent payments have stopped, recover the payment paid out and is no longer a landlord participant in the program. While GHURA chalks this up to miscommunication, the happy ending can be attributed to an act of kindness.