$2.5M from Congress a ‘game changer’ for planned Mendenhall Valley social services hub

A coming soon sign with blooming fireweed in front of it
Teal Street Center’s Coming Soon sign, at the site. (Photo courtesy of Teal Street Center)

The omnibus appropriations bill that the U.S. Senate passed on March 10 has $2.5 million flagged for the Teal Street Center, a social services hub being built in Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley. It will serve community members with programs ranging from youth mentoring to aging support to tribal citizen resources.

“Our hope is that we will be finished enough that we can open our doors to our tenant agencies by the end of this year,” the center’s Sarah Chapell said. “And while we might not be 100% complete, we really want to get folks in there as soon as possible because people need the services now.” 

The funding will make up close to a third of what Teal Street Center thinks it will need, which is an estimated $8.7 million. The center has received $7 million so far, including the omnibus funding.

Chapell calls the funding from the bill a “game changer.” 

“We would have had a very heavy lift for this project without the support of this congressional appropriation,” she said. “So we are very happy and really celebrating at this point because we know this is going to make the Teal Street Center a reality.”

The City and Borough of Juneau contributed over $1 million to Teal Street Center in the fall of 2020 and expects a request for up to $1.3 million more, which it plans to fund. 

Yvonne Krumrey

Local News Reporter, KTOO

Juneau is built on hidden and assumed layers of power and access, influencing how we interact with identity, with the law and with each other. I bring you stories of the gaps in access to power, and those who are working to close those gaps.

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