The Anchorage Family Emergency Shelter Plan
For immediate release
August 18, 2022
Anchorage, AK – For over a decade, many community partners have committed to ensuring that no family experiences unsheltered homelessness in the Municipality of Anchorage. Christian Health Associates, the Anchorage School District, churches and volunteers from their congregations, AWAIC, RuralCap, Catholic Social Services, United Way, Salvation Army, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH), and the Anchorage Health Department (AHD) have spent many hours collaborating on the best way to safely house families in the winter months when there is increased community need.
Beginning in August of 2021, these partners and others initiated bi-weekly meetings to determine multiple opportunities to resolve a community problem. As a result of these enormous efforts, two options have been identified that engage churches, Christian Health Associates, RuralCap, and AWAIC to provide emergency shelter and wrap-around services to move families into housing quickly.
Dave Kuiper from Christian Health Associates shared, “The Anchorage faith community has helped families experiencing homelessness for a long time, and it is an important part of many congregations’ values. Christian Health Associates is thrilled that we are reactivating and perhaps expanding the network of churches and volunteers that want to show up and do the work of caring for families who need shelter and housing. We could not have done this without the collaboration of our many partners.”
This level of collaboration is what it takes to address a problem as significant as family homelessness. The goal has always been to create a clear path to shelter and stable housing for families. There are roles and responsibilities outlined for participating organizations, with potential funding streams and staff identified to carry out the plan.
“The Family Shelter plan is a testament of what true collaboration across multiple providers, local government, and the faith-based community utilizing comprehensive data to plan in advance. We are prepared to serve families this winter,” Terria Ware, Systems Improvement Administrator, ACEH.
The plan leverages existing provider resources and expertise as well as participation from the faith community and their dedication to helping our neighbors in need. It is a result of careful consideration and immense community input. The method for producing a community plan is replicable for other subpopulations of people experiencing homelessness such as veterans or single adults.
Nathan Johnson, Board Chair of ACEH said, “Collaboration and community participation are the heart of any successful plan. We are proud of the joint effort and community involvement that produced the family emergency shelter plan. Safe shelter and housing are critical for family stability, and this plan puts us closer to successfully answering that need.”
ACEH is committed to developing an emergency shelter plan for single adults in collaboration with a multitude of stakeholders. The plan will be based on data to track system capacity, client needs, and integration with the Homeless Prevention and Response System. The first meeting will be held Monday, August 22, 2022 at 3427 E Tudor Road, Suite B, from 11:30AM-1:30PM. It will be a hybrid event in person and on Microsoft Teams. Teams link: Click here to join the meeting
Media Contact: Owen Hutchinson, (907) 312-9547
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.