In Response to the June 30 Closure of the Sullivan Arena and Mass Care
For immediate release
June 3, 2022
Anchorage, AK – Last Wednesday, June 1, 2022, the Sullivan arena posted that it would no longer be accepting new individuals seeking shelter. This decision corresponds with the June 1 press release from the Mayor’s Office announcing that the closure of the Sullivan Arena as a congregate mass care facility is scheduled for June 30, 2022.
The closure of the Sullivan Arena was expected, however, with no advance notice of intakes being halted and with no clear transition plan, has left the community in a position of being unable to provide clear and accurate information to people experiencing homelessness about where they can get assistance.
Directly after the June 1 press release Meg Zaletel, Executive Director for the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, sent an urgent letter to Mayor Bronson requesting the following undisclosed information:
- With no new admissions beginning on June 1, 2022, will camp abatement continue? If so, what shelter capacity will the MOA be relying on to allow camps to be abated?
- At the time of the closure of these facilities, where are individuals expected to go? Will there be a transition facility or facilities until the Navigation Center is complete and if so, what are those facilities?
- At present, if there are no new admissions into the Aviator Hotel, where should families experiencing homelessness be referred when established providers have no additional capacity?
“As you know, camp abatement may only occur when there is sufficient shelter capacity to accept new referrals from camps.” Zaletel said in her letter to Mayor Bronson, “With the Sullivan Arena no longer accepting individuals, Brother Francis Shelter at capacity and other shelters being high barrier, ACEH cannot see a reasonable way for camp abatement to continue and comply with applicable code. Additionally, ACEH is very concerned without a transition plan in place after June 30th, the community will experience an influx of at least 200 individuals likely to be unsheltered.”
It was also made clear in the letter that if the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness does not receive satisfactory responses to stated concerns on or before June 7, 2022, the Coalition would move forward in whatever way necessary to protect the health and safety of our unhoused neighbors.
Contact: Sasha L. Zimmerman, (907) 841-0644
About the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness
The mission of the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness is to provide dynamic leadership in making homelessness rare, brief, and one time. As the lead for the Anchorage Continuum of Care, ACEH seeks to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness; provide funding for efforts to quickly rehouse individuals and families experiencing homelessness while minimizing trauma and dislocation; promote access to services needed by individuals and families experiencing homelessness, and optimize self-sufficiency.
Thank you to all those who have answered the call and signed up to assemble outreach item kits for our unsheltered neighbors. These kits include cold-weather items and other essentials for individuals sleeping outside during this harsh winter weather.
At the Tuesday, November 22nd meeting of the Anchorage Assembly, a unified proposal for alcohol tax funding was passed.
The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides support through the Continuum of Care (CoC) to different types of housing programs. As the designated CoC lead, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness monitors the performance of these programs to understand how housing interventions function in Anchorage.