Juneau expands shelter options for homeless into the summer

The city’s new Mill Campground is located closer to downtown than the now-closed Thane Campground. (Map courtesy of City and Borough of Juneau)

As Juneau residents continue to hunker down, those without homes will have a few more options for places to sleep as the weather warms up.

The city extended the cold weather shelter’s contract for three more months this week and plans to open its new campground Tuesday.

The cold weather shelter is operated by St. Vincent de Paul. The shelter moved to the Juneau Arts and Culture Center last month to allow more space between cots. It will be open from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

The Mill Campground is closer to downtown than the now-closed Thane Campground. It’s up the hill along South Franklin Street behind the Franklin Dock, and it will be open through mid-October.

The city says the new campground site is safer and will be easier to maintain. It has 20 tent platforms, lockable bear-proof storage containers, hand washing stations and bathrooms.

Parks and Recreation will manage the site and register campers for free. Deputy Director Michele Elfers wrote in an email that the city will also have tarps for campers to use.

Staff from the city housing and homelessness department will also regularly visit the campground to help connect people with social services.