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Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness Press Conference: Presentation on Mass Care Exit 20220615

Weekly Digests

Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness Press Conference: Presentation on Mass Care Exit 20220615

This morning the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) gave an update on the Mass Care Exit. Meg Zaletel, Executive Director, along with Terria Ware, ACEH Systems Improvement Administrator, presented information on available shelter capacity, the number of individuals housed during the ongoing Housing Surge, and the lack of necessary services and facilities for those leaving mass care. Unanswered questions and concerns surrounding camp abatements were also brought forward as ACEH awaits a response to Zaletel’s letter to the Mayor, sent on June 1, 2022. 

Thank you to community members and partners who attended this event, and to members of the press for your coverage.
 
View the event recording here.

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2021-2022 Data Snapshot

This data snapshot and hotel conversion flier give a quick overview of Homeless Prevention & Response System inflow & outflow, to highlight the need for similar projects. This resource is available on the ACEH website: https://aceh.org/tools

June 10th Press Release & Capacity Map

The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) has created a systems map of the current state of mass care and the Homeless Prevention and Response System (HPRS). This came as a response to the recent announcement that the 245 individuals currently staying at the Sullivan Arena congregate mass care shelter will be required to exit to other facilities on or before June 30th. This document does not consider the approximately 200 individuals who are currently experiencing unsheltered homelessness in Anchorage.

“Beginning June 1, the Outreach and Coordinated Entry teams have noticed a sharp increase in individuals living unsheltered or in places not meant for habitation. Those living unsheltered have reduced access to food, showers, and other essential hygiene supplies. There has been a lot of frustration expressed by individuals that are seeking shelter services,” said Ryan Chernikoff Outreach Coordinator with the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness. “Outreach teams have reported that some individuals who have been working towards housing, employment, and other essential aspects of stabilization have lost their bed at the Sullivan Arena permanently for missing curfew. The Outreach teams have also heard from individuals that this has been the first time they are living unsheltered. We have also gotten reports that verbal abatement notices have been given to people camping in areas around Anchorage.”

View the document here: HPRS Systems Map

This document will be kept current, with the next update to be expected on June 13, 2022. ACEH is committed to keeping the community informed about the current situation as it continues to evolve.

Hot Weather Survival Kits

Many of our Anchorage neighbors are facing this unusually hot and dry summer without proper shelter or basic necessities. Please consider helping individuals experiencing homelessness by donating much-needed items.

ITEMS NEEDED:

Reusable water bottles
Sunscreen
Hats
Bug spray

National Housing & Homelessness Highlights

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH)

USICH Releases Principles for Addressing Encampments

Communities across the United States are facing a crisis of unsheltered homelessness. This was made clear in 2020 when, for the first time, more individuals experiencing homelessness were unsheltered living on the streets than staying in shelters. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this ongoing emergency that takes the lives of thousands of people each year.

Local decision-makers are caught between demands for swift action and the reality that permanent, sustainable solutions—housing with voluntary supportive services—take time and investment to bring to scale. Some communities have turned to aggressive law enforcement approaches that criminalize homelessness and close encampments without offering shelter or housing options. While these efforts may have the short-term effect of clearing an encampment from public view, without connection to adequate shelter, housing, and supportive services, encampments will appear again in another neighborhood or even in the same place they had previously been.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but the following principles—developed by USICH in coordination with the departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Justice (DOJ), and Veterans Affairs (VA); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and several national partners—can help communities more effectively address encampments:

We Want to Hear From You

If you have thoughts or suggestions, reach out and send us a message. Please let us know what you think.

Email us at communications@aceh.org

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