Juneau’s seasonal campground for people without homes to close next week

Twelve out of 20 tent platforms at the City and Borough of Juneau's seasonal Mill Campground are occupied on April 28, 2020.
Twelve out of 20 tent platforms at the City and Borough of Juneau’s seasonal Mill Campground are occupied on April 28, 2020. The campground, which primarily serves people in transition or without homes, had opened a week earlier. (Photo by Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

Juneau is closing the Mill Campground for the season. 

The city maintains the 20-site campground seasonally for people without homes. 

Deputy Parks and Recreation Director Michele Elfers said it closes every winter because the campground doesn’t have running water, sewer or electricity. In freezing temperatures, the city can’t light the area or keep water thawed.

There are also no shelters that could withstand snow and heavy winds, and Elfers said there aren’t enough staff to maintain the campground in winter. 

It will close on Oct. 15. The city wants everyone to have their belongings and food out by noon. 

People who don’t have homes to go to do have alternatives. The city has an emergency warming shelter at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center that will be open overnight through the fall and winter. It can hold up to 71 people with space for social distancing. 

There’s also the Glory Hall shelter, though it’s taking fewer people because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Mill campground should reopen next April.

Support critical access for all. Become a member today.