The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (the Trust) recently awarded two grants totaling $125,000, to two Fairbanks nonprofit agencies working on initiatives pertaining to homelessness. Housing is a critical component in the continuum of care for beneficiaries of the Trust. In addition to these recent grants, for the past three years the Trust has funded a Housing and Homeless Coordinator position for the City of Fairbanks and has worked with other community partners on efforts to address homelessness.

The grants include:

Love INC, Fairbanks

Fairbanks Prevention and Diversion Project: $50,000

Preventing homelessness, much like preventing injury or illness, not only provides better outcomes for Trust beneficiaries, but is the most economical approach to addressing homelessness. Trust funds will support Love INC in their implementation of a jointly planned, multi-agency effort to prevent homelessness in the community through the use of limited financial assistance. The goal of the program is to identify and assist 25 households experiencing a financial crisis that would likely enter homelessness without assistance.

Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violent Living

Fairbanks Homeless Encampment Service Delivery: $75,000

Trust funds will support direct engagement by a core team in the Fairbanks area homeless encampments. The team will include a case manager and peer support specialist, and will be augmented by services from other organizations. This project will give chronically homeless individuals in the Fairbanks area consistent opportunities to engage in both services and housing opportunities to end their chronic homeless status.

“We appreciate the Trust’s support for these initiatives and other efforts to address our most vulnerable residents,” said Mike Sanders, Housing and Homeless Coordinator for the City of Fairbanks. “Ours is a community that knows how to work together to address our neighbors’ needs, and the Trust’s funding has been essential to our collaborative efforts to turn the corner on homelessness.”

“Housing is essential for Trust beneficiaries, especially for those with a mental illness, a substance use disorder, or other challenges,” said Mike Abbott, CEO of the Trust. “We are grateful to Love INC, the Interior Alaska Center for Non-Violet Living, and our many community partners for their efforts to ensure access to care for individuals experiencing homelessness.”

The Trust grants, on average, $20 million a year to Alaska organizations that serve Trust beneficiaries, including various nonprofits, state agencies, and projects that promote long-term system change and/or innovative projects that improve the lives and circumstances of Trust beneficiaries.

Contact: Allison Biastock, Chief Communications Officer