Homeless encampment grows near Two Lovers Point | New

Several camps occupied by dozens of homeless people have emerged along Marine Corps Drive leading to Puntan Dos Amantes, one of Guam’s most popular tourist attractions.

The camps are visible to motorists passing through the area. Those occupying the tents and makeshift structures say they have no immediate plans to leave.

“I have no shame. … Maybe one day (the tourists) could help me, you know? said Carol Fejeran, 48, who lives in a tent with her husband.

Fejeran, from Hågat, said she and her husband had been homeless for 3½ years and were trying to find a more permanent housing solution.

“Look at that, our cooler, they just stole our drinks. … It’s tough man,” said Fejeran, who said theft and damage to tents are just some of the challenges she faces on a daily basis.

A bigger problem, Fejeran said, is the common drug use around the camp.

Police intervention

The Guam Police Department “has been made aware of several known encampments along Highway 34,” said police spokeswoman Officer Berlyn Savella.

Savella said that several months ago, Police Chief Stephen Ignacio began attending neighborhood watch meetings with mayors and villagers to find out how the police could help deal with complaints that mayors are not allowed to process.

“One of those concerns was about the homeless people on Route 34 and those were from the landlords who attended the meetings. They said they identified homeless people who were using their property to stay and had trouble asking them to leave,” she said.

GPD officers met with people living in the encampments to inform them that they did not have permission to be there and that they had to leave, Savella said.

“They acted accordingly. There was no resistance,” Savella said, adding that GPD reached out to the Guam Homeless Coalition to help and provide services to individuals and families at the site.

However, the people from the camp just moved across the street.

Savella said the GPD is trying to identify the owners of the new camp to determine official next steps.

Route 34 is at the border of Dededo and Tamuning police stations. Neither has received a trespassing complaint about the encampments, Savella said.

“We can’t evict them without an owner declaring it’s their property to evict those who don’t belong there,” Savella said.

Awareness efforts

Mark Pernia, program coordinator for Catholic Social Service, said his outreach team regularly visits the encampments near the entrance to Puntan Dos Amantes. and recently identified 14 people living in or around the site.

Pernia said the team observed that most homeless people in the encampments beg along the intersections of Micronesia Mall and Fatima Mobil.

Pernia said some of those at the camp had been evicted by family members, while others suffered from chronic homelessness.

The most requested services are housing assistance and food.

Rob San Agustin, acting director of the Office of Homelessness and Poverty Prevention, said staff will visit the camps on Friday to connect homeless people with government services.

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