The clinic for Juneau’s homeless and low-income residents will stay open at least through April 30th thanks to the fundraising efforts of local community members and organizations.
The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium recently announced plans to close Front Street Clinic October 1 due to budgetary constraints.
More than $100,000 has been raised in the past week. Mariya Lovishchuk is executive director of Glory Hole, Juneau’s soup kitchen and shelter:
“It was kind of like one of the most clear things I’ve ever had to do in my life. You have to call everyone you know and you have to ask them all for money and you have to just very honestly explain what you’re asking for and because what I was asking for is just so rudimentary, people gave money. We just absolutely have to keep them going.”
COO Dan Neumeister says SEARHC will use $90,000 from a U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration grant to run the clinic. Total costs to keep Front Street open an additional six months are about $250,000. Neumeister says the shortfall will be covered by community fundraising.
The Juneau Coalition on Housing and Homelessness led the effort to keep the clinic open. It was supported by Representatives Munoz and Kerttula, the city and borough of Juneau, Bartlett Regional Hospital, SEARHC, and other local organizations.
But clinic supporters still need to raise $46,000 by September 30.
Juneau Community Foundation executive director Amy Skilbred says that’s possible to do in this community. The Foundation is launching a campaign to raise the needed additional funds.
“The Front Street Clinic has been really important for providing medical services for homeless people and other underserved populations and we just want to show there’s a community-wide effort to support the Front Street Clinic and keep it going not only through this six month period, but keep the doors open forever.”
Lovishchuk says the long term goal is to turn Front Street Clinic into a community health center.
To donate to Front Street Clinic, go to juneaucf.org.
- The Juneau Assembly has appointed Dr. Bob Urata and Lance Stevens to the nine-member Bartlett Regional Hospital board. Urata is a physician with a longtime practice. Stevens is a former president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce.
- Recent heavy snow accumulation is pushing moose onto Alaska roads increasing collision danger. When snow piles up, you’re more likely to encounter moose on roads.
- The Juneau Access Project envisions 50 more miles of road up Lynn Canal to a ferry terminal closer to the road system. It has divided the Juneau community for decades and faces significant opposition from other southeast cities including Haines and Skagway. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker pulled the plug on the $574 million project last month.
- The Juneau Assembly heard more than 90 minutes of testimony from dozens of residents including merchants, social workers and homeless people themselves who all agreed on one thing: Juneau has a serious homeless problem. But speakers had radically different viewpoints.