Juneau, Alaska (KINY) The Alaska Housing Finance Corporation announced a $2.55 million award in grants and loans to the Juneau Housing First Collaborative Project.
The money will double the number of units at the Forget-Me-Not-Manor, a 32-room facility that opened in October, 2017
The project will still need an additional $1.13 million to get built. Other funds have come from the City and Borough of Juneau, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau Emergency Medical Association, First Bank and Eagle Wings Church.
Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment, or service participation requirements. Housing First provides the platform from which formerly long term homeless people can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life.
“Permanent supportive housing works much better than emergency shelter in helping those most in need. The Glory Hall is thrilled to be working on this project,” said Mariya Lovishchuk, Executive Director of the Glory Hall.
Phase 2 of the Juneau Housing First project will create 32 additional permanent supportive housing units – for a total of 64 units at Forget-Me-Not Manor. This housing targets Juneau's highly vulnerable chronic homeless population, serving those who are chemically dependent and exhibit an extensive history of emergency service utilization.
A service utilization study conducted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks demonstrated that after the first six months people who had moved into Juneau’s 32-room housing first facility reduced their use of emergency services and the emergency room by 65%. This study also demonstrated an increase in dignity for those experiencing chronic homelessness.
To raise the remaining $1.75M the Juneau Housing First Collaborative is approaching state and federal foundations for $1.1M, and spearheading raising $650,000 in donations from the private business community and from individuals, through the Juneau Community Foundation.
“We are proud to play a key role with raising these funds, partnering with the Juneau Community Foundation, and contributing to this life-changing solution," said Juneau Housing First Collaborative Board President, Steve Sorenson.
Donations for this community impact project can be made on the Juneau Community Foundation's website www.jcf.org, which allows for quick on-line donations and the ability to share the fundraiser easily on social media. Or through the Juneau Community Foundation Facebook page. These donations go directly to the Juneau Community Foundation's Housing First fund. Checks can also be sent to the Juneau Community Foundation at 350 N. Franklin Street, Juneau Alaska 99801.