Despite decades of efforts by various organizations, Sitka has no homeless shelter.
St. Vincent de Paul Society has a contract with the city to operate the emergency shelter at the JACC until April.
Once everyone’s moved in, the building will house more than 60 chronically-homeless residents.
Usually in the summer, there’s a drop in demand for services for people experiencing homelessness. But local housing providers say that hasn’t happened this year.
People experiencing homelessness are exempt under Juneau’s hunker-down order. For many of them, the threat of a pandemic is just not as high of a priority as staying warm or getting their next meal.
Juneau has a number of organizations providing assistance to the economically vulnerable. But availability of resources is always an issue, and proposed cuts to state services could have an impact.
The cuts proposed in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget would have big impacts for housing and homeless service programs. In Juneau, providers say the loss of funding could put some of Alaska’s most vulnerable residents back on the streets.
The Juneau Housing First Collaborative announced this week that it has been awarded more than $2.5 million in grants and loans for a project that will add a new wing to a subsidized housing complex in Lemon Creek.
The Assembly’s grant to the Juneau Housing First Collaborative brings them closer to expanding. The collaborative wants to more than double its capacity to provide permanent, supportive housing for the homeless.
Juneau’s Housing First wants to add a new wing with 45 new apartments. But backers say the plan rests with the Juneau Assembly, which is being asked for a $4.2 million commitment.