November 19, 2020 – During their regular board meeting on November 18, 2o20, the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees directed $600,000 in funds for projects supporting housing and homeless shelter services to Trust beneficiaries.  

The Trust is a strong supporter of efforts to prevent and end homelessness, knowing that homeless shelter services help protect and support some of Alaska’s most vulnerable populations. For many beneficiaries of the Trust, housing is a key element in the continuum of services that promote independence and improve quality of life.

“We know that when our beneficiaries are not worried about where they will be sleeping on a given night, they are in a much better place to be supported and served by the many programs that can help them transition away from homelessness,” said Mike Abbott, Trust CEO. “I’m glad the Trust is contributing to these important community efforts to address and prevent homelessness.”

Trustees directed grant funding to the following programs:

Bethel Winter House Renovation

Bethel Winter House, $150,000

The Bethel Winter House (BWH) is a homeless shelter in Bethel. BWH is remodeling a building that will serve as a permanent space dedicated to the shelter which, until now, has operated seasonally with leased space and volunteers. This project will allow Trust beneficiaries and people experiencing homelessness in the Bethel area to have a safe, secure shelter, food, and hygiene supplies. This project, which has been supported by numerous funding partners, will ensure an emergency shelter is available in Bethel for many years. 

Bridge to Success

Covenant House Alaska, $250,000

Through the Bridge to Success project, Covenant House Alaska (CHA) will renovate and expand space at the existing Youth Engagement Center to create 22 new on-site “micro-unit” apartments to serve young people ages 18 to 24 who are experiencing homelessness. In this best-practice model, residents will have self-contained rooms with increased privacy and independence. They will also have complete access to on-site education, employment, life skills training, health services, and case management support. When residents are ready to transition to permanent housing, they will receive support from CHA’s Housing  Department, which will provide landlord connections, rental skills training, move-in support, and rental assistance. The Trust joins many community funding partners in supporting this project.

New Glory Hall Facility, Juneau

Juneau Cooperative Christian Ministry, $200,000

The Glory Hall is an emergency shelter, soup kitchen, and care center in Juneau.  Annually, the Glory Hall provides over 55,000 meals and over 11,000 safe shelter nights, as well as transportation assistance, laundry, showers, social services referrals, limited case management, assistance with housing searches, and other needs-based support. Trust funds will join numerous community funding partners in supporting the construction of a new shelter facility that will replace the current inadequate facility. The new shelter will provide overnight accommodations for up to 40 people, as well as capacity for 12-person overflow, and day room accommodations for up to 100 people. The new building’s location will be within a social service hub, which will increase access to community social service supports.

Contact: Allison Biastock, Chief Communications Officer