Kamalen boosts help for homeless

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By Umatuna Si Yu’os Staff

The Archdiocese of Agana is expanding the way it helps the island’s homeless population including opening its shower facilities to our needy brothers and sisters at its Kusinan Karidat facilities in Hagatna.

Kamalen Karidat officials shared that good news to reporters as they joined Archbishop Michael Byrnes for his monthly “Updating the Faithful” series last Monday, June 5 at the Chancery.

Kamalen Karidat began providing its shower facilities to homeless people at its Hagatna soup kitchen in May, said Kusinan Karidat Director Doris Royal.

Since then, the shower facilities have been used by an average of seven homeless individuals per day. The homeless may use the shower facilities from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, said Royal.

Archbishop Byrnes welcomed Father Mike Crisostomo as Kamalen ministries’ new director. He also expressed gratitude for now-retired Deacon Frank and Mrs. Maria Tenorio who led Kamalen for the past 24 years.

“We honor their efforts over the years … of outreach to the homeless, especially through the pantry and soup kitchen,” Archbishop Byrnes said of the Tenorios.

The husband and wife team led the Kamalen Karidat ministries which is well known for feeding Guam’s homeless and hungry at its Hagatna soup kitchen seven days a week, 365 days a year. In addition to operating the kitchen and thrift store, Kamalen Karidat manages the archdiocese’s radio station, KOLG 90.9 FM and most notably, is devoted to combating abortion through the Guam Catholic Pro-Life Committee. It also provides counseling to woman who have undergone abortions through the Project Rachel program.

Archbishop Byrnes called this week’s “Updating the Faithful” a wonderful opportunity “to meet the people who are literally the hands of Jesus in providing for the poor, for those who are homeless.”

He commended Father Mike and noted the new initiatives already being implemented. “I’m extraordinarily grateful to his taking leadership in this and already I’m seeing some wonderful transformations, building on the legacy of Deacon Tenorio and his wife,” the archbishop said.

Father Mike introduced Royal at the briefing along with Marilu Martinez who takes over as Director of the Pro-Life ministry and Rosie Tainatongo, one of several new Kamalen board members. He also introduced Phil Santos, a member of the planning committee for Kamalen’s annual gala fundraiser held every October.

Father Mike called the Kusinan soup kitchen the flagship ministry of Kamalen and announced that they hope to establish a facility in northern Guam, working with mayors and other community groups with similar missions and activities.

Kamalen’s plans with KOLG 90.9 FM include enhancing programming of the “Light of the Marianas” with live local programs and recorded features.

Kamalen welcomes donations by the community for such things as toothbrushes, soap and razors for the homeless. Kamalen can be reached at 472-4569 or 477-4569.