Evacuees at DCCA shelters to stay for now


Department of Community and Cultural Affairs affirmed that they have no plans to close their shelters for now.

DCCA Secretary Robert Hunter told Saipan Tribune that there is still no exact date as to when they plan to close the shelters under the department, such as the Saipan Aging Office in Garapan.

According to Hunter, the department has about 80 evacuees, a number of whom have recently submitted their rights of entry forms for assessment. The right of entry form is written permission from a landowner, or landlord, allowing his or her tenant to enter the premises and set up temporary shelter if needed.

The 80 shelterees constitute about 20 households.

He further noted that once the assessment of the rights of entry per household ends, it would greatly reduce the number of shelterees at the Saipan Aging Office.

“…Over the course of the next week, probably,” Hunter said was when the assessments are expected to conclude. He added that roofing and tenting government projects have already initiated for some of the shelterees’ homes.

Hunter noted that he is also working with the Public School System on closing their shelters. PSS has not released a specific date on when it plans to close its shelters in northern Saipan, where most of the shelterees are.

“We are kind of operating on the [same timeline]. After that, we would be working on another option for an extended term shelter,” he said.

According to Hunter, who declined to disclose the proposed shelter site, DCCA is currently reviewing what other facilities may be used as an extended term shelter. “We are looking at several options right now…and what is required to get them online, but we want one consolidated shelter [for everyone],” he said.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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