Community lends a hand to displaced Santa Rita family
Help has come through for the two families left homeless by a fire in Santa Rita on Wednesday. Officials have now set them up with emergency housing, and villagers have also responded to the calls for help.
There's not much left of the Santa Rita duplex that the two families were renting. While the blaze quickly engulfed the houses, no one was hurt, including more than half a dozen children that were living there. The families packed what was left of their belongings, and had nowhere else to go but the village community center.
But today, Esmina Murtok says she and her relatives are grateful. "For the past two days we didn't have a place to stay, but the mayor, the mayor of Santa Rita gave us this area to stay. So then they were helping us to get an emergency home. So we just came from GHURA. They gave us two units for our family to stay in, but it's only up to 30 days," he said.
Santa Rita mayor Dale Alvarez put out a call to his villagers for assistance, and they came through. "Unfortunately, it's tragic that their house burned, and they have no place, no relatives to go. That's why I'm pleading with the people to donate whatever they can donate. And it's been good - Santa Rita has been good. The people of Santa Rita have been coming out and donating clothes and foods, and even toys for the kids," said the mayor.
The families also applied to the Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority for permanent shelter, and are expecting to know in a couple of weeks.
S.K. Soram and his family were also displaced. He says despite the setback and the struggles, he still believes he can better provide for his family here than his native Chuuk. "Because here it's like, y'know like I can find a, like the support, or whatever, but back there it's really hard for us, y'know because back there, when I work, when I use to work back there I, y'know, they pay me like $0.35 an hour. But here they pay me like $8.50 an hour. That's why I like it more here," he told KUAM News.