We all know our island is facing an economic downturn that is affecting many of our lives, but how bad do you think it is? Currently, just in the Public Health Office in Mangilao, five eligibility specialists are handling about 1600 cases on programs for food stamps, welfare, Medicaid, etc. Two other specialists have about 800 cases. This is about 10,000 families on Guam who are in need of assistance. This doesn’t account for the cases in the Northern and Central offices and this doesn’t account for all those who are already in the program. This clearly shows our economy isn’t working for a lot of the people in our island. The often misconception is that “people don’t want to work; they’re lazy and would rather stay on welfare and food stamps”. Now think about it, what job on Guam will pay these people, with the qualifications they have, a high enough income that will enable them to feed them and their families without needing any assistance? Not much. If the 10,000 applicants were given the opportunity to get a decent job that will feed their families and put a roof on their heads, they wouldn’t miss it. Why would anyone not want a decent wage, affordable healthcare, and a good retirement plan? Our families deserve more.

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