Residents can now apply for and get assistance through the application process for government-funded health care, child care, and welfare programs at the newly opened Government of Guam Relief Center. The one-stop resource center opened its doors in Hagåtña to help residents easily access and submit documents and applications for various financial assistance programs.
“The key for us is to bridge that gap and reach out to as many of these agencies and assist (residents) as best as we can,” said Kathleen Peredo, program manager.
Island residents have faced both financial and mental hardships brought on by the pandemic, and for the past two years, agencies have seen an increase in applications for welfare and other social programs, said Peter John Cruz, a program coordinator at the Government of Guam Relief Center.
Although other agencies and offices throughout the island are available to assist residents, Cruz said the new relief center can better help residents through the application process for a number of services.
“If (residents) are missing this document, (the agencies) send them away to have them retrieve that document on their own and then it just elongates the process,” Cruz said. “We’re trying to connect customers with the programs that they can apply for so we’re assisting the agencies with the front of the housework of putting applications together.”
The Government of Guam Relief Center can help residents with the following services:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- Welfare (Care/Public Assistance)
- Medically Indigent Program (MIP)
- Child Care Development Fund
- COVID-19 Bereavement Assistance Fund
- Unclaimed checks for child tax credits, ALL RISE, Economic Impact Payments, tax refunds
- Guam Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- Guam Homeowners Assistance Fund Program
- Guam Low Income Home Owner Assistance Program
- Prugråman Salåppe’ 3
- Guam War Claims
- Applications for rental housing
“We’re trying to ease the overwhelmed systems that are already stressed out, and we want to provide the people with quality customer service,” Cruz said. “We hope to increase the number of programs that we offer assistance with.”
The resource center’s ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Monday on the third floor of the Bank of Hawaii Building in Hagåtña. The center will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.