22 Nov 2004

NGO leader wants government to do more to help Guam homeless

4:17 pm on 22 November 2004

An NGO leader on Guam has called on the government to do more for the homeless on the island.

Barbara Lucero is the director of family services at the Salvation Army and is also a member of the Guam Homeless Coalition, a group of agencies formed to fight homelessness.

Ms Lucero says if the government doesn't address the issue the island's healthcare system will be overrun and crime could begin to be a problem.

She says one way the government could help would be to increase welfare.

"I see way too many people who are in a serious condition and they just can't get a job for whatever reason so they really need to be able to rely on welfare that is sufficient enough to meet their needs and right now the welfare that is given is not sufficient enough to meet the needs of the people."

More than 1,000 people are reported as homeless on Guam.