From Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness <[email protected]>
Subject ACEH Weekly Digest
Date September 14, 2023 12:59 AM
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"Anchorage’s emergency cold weather shelter planning is on track"

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** Homeless Prevention & Response System
Weekly Digest
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** Anchorage’s emergency cold weather shelter planning is on track

As the days and nights get colder and there’s termination dust on the mountains, the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH) has been very invested in ensuring there is an adequate plan for emergency cold weather shelter this winter. This year, we have been encouraged by collaboration between the Anchorage Assembly and Anchorage Health Department (AHD) that resulted in an Emergency Cold Weather Shelter Plan in August and a funding proposal that will come up for a vote on Sept. 12. This is the earliest an Anchorage cold weather shelter plan has been accomplished and relies on non-congregate shelter as the primary path forward, a model based on proven national best practices that have demonstrated better outcomes.

An emergency shelter, even when offered seasonally, should be a place where someone can stabilize, make concrete steps to secure their own place to live, and access the support they need to maintain their housing. The use of non-congregate shelters will help caseworkers, service providers and people experiencing homelessness on a track toward housing. Non-congregate shelter means that everyone has a door, sometimes a roommate, and can provide safety and security – compared to large, shared spaces like the Sullivan Arena. When shelters are safe for residents, they are also safe for the wider community.

- Letter to the editor, submitted to the Anchorage Daily News 09/11/2023, by Meg Zaletel, ACEH Executive Director, and Nathan Johnson, Chair for the ACEH Board of Directors.
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Highlights from the Coalition

** Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

Outreach Kit-Making Event
* Monday, October 9th, 6:00 –8:00 PM
* Monday, October 23rd, 6:00 –8:00 PM

Sign up for one, or both events! Join us to assemble outreach item kits for our unsheltered neighbors!

At the ACEH office:

3427 E Tudor Road, Suite A
Anchorage, AK 99507
Volunteer to Make Outreach Kits ([link removed])

** Mini Project Connects
* Wednesday, September 27th, 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM
* Wednesday, October 25th, 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM

We are looking for volunteers to help distribute:

snack bags
minor first aid
hygiene items
potable water
harm reduction supplies
blankets & sleeping bags
Volunteer to Help at a Mini Project Homeless Connect ([link removed])
Questions about volunteering? Contact Jessica Parks at [email protected] (mailto:[email protected])
Local Highlights
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** Alaska Public Media

** Talk of Alaska: Alaska's chronic housing shortage
“You can break down the housing need a couple of ways, so we need tens of thousands of housing units in order to create a reasonable market where supply and demand are better leveled out so that we aren’t crunched on supply, which then raises prices up so high.” Meg Zaletel, Anchorage Assembly Member representing Midtown, on Talk of Alaska, with Lori Townsend.

“We know that in order to end homelessness in Anchorage we are about 2,200 units short… but let’s talk about attainability. What can we do to make housing attainable for someone who needs it, and what we know right now is that for a lot of our professionals; nurses, police officers, teachers, housing isn’t necessarily attainable for them without being rent-burdened. Meaning they would pay over 30% of their income to access a 2-bedroom apartment.”

Here is a quick breakdown of the different types of housing needed in Anchorage:

TH provides temporary housing with supportive services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness with the goal of interim stability and support to successfully move to and maintain permanent housing. TH projects can cover housing costs and accompanying supportive services for program participants for up to 24 months.

Rapid Re-Housing is a solution to homelessness designed to help individuals and families quickly exit homelessness and return to permanent housing. It is offered without preconditions (such as employment, income, absence of criminal record, or sobriety) and the resources and services provided are typically tailored to the unique needs of the household.

PSH is an intervention that combines affordable housing assistance with voluntary support services to address the needs of chronically homeless people. The services are designed to build independent living and tenancy skills and connect people with community-based health care, treatment and employment services.
Listen to Full Broadcast ([link removed])
National Highlights
Community Solutions

** Improving health and housing outcomes

A case study on how data-sharing between health and homeless systems helped two communities serve their unhoused neighbors ([link removed])

Health systems have a transformative and catalytic role to play in solving homelessness. One important step toward unlocking the full potential of a collaboration between these two systems is the ability to share a real-time, person-centered line of sight into a community’s unhoused population.

Major health systems — including CommonSpirit Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis, Sutter Health, and Providence Health — have facilitated data-sharing agreements with the homeless response systems in Sacramento, California, and Washington County, Oregon.

These partnerships have worked to improve:

homelessness data so that all unhoused neighbors are accounted for
2️⃣ health outcomes and care for people experiencing homelessness
3️⃣ housing outcomes
4️⃣ the process of discharging people experiencing homelessness from a hospital
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National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH)

** New Report Discusses Homelessness Data Reform
A new report ([link removed]) from the Alliance’s Homelessness Research Institute examines the current state of homelessness data reporting. It discusses changes and recommendations that can be made to provide a fuller understanding of the scope of homelessness, and therefore more effectively prevent and end it.
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National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)

** New Voting Rights Legislation Promotes Access to Voting among Unhoused Individuals and Federally Assisted Renters

Representative Nikema Williams (GA-05) introduced a comprehensive voting rights legislation package ([link removed]) on August 25 that includes two NLIHC-endorsed bills to promote voter participation among unhoused voters and federally assisted renters. The introduction of the package coincided with the 60^th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a landmark event in the movement to enact civil rights legislation like the “Voting Rights Act of 1965” and the “Fair Housing Act of 1968.” The package includes the NLIHC-endorsed “Unhoused Voter Opportunity Through Elections Act ([link removed]) ” (Unhoused VOTE Act) (H.R. 5294 ([link removed]) ) and the “Voters on the Move Registration Act
([link removed]) ” (H.R. 5290 ([link removed]) ).
Read More ([link removed])

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ACEH Weekly Digest
Please reach out to ** [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]?subject=ACEH%20Weekly%20Digest)
if you have questions, suggestions, or resources you would like to share in the weekly digest.
Copyright © 2023 Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, All rights reserved.
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Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness
3427 E Tudor Road
Suite A
Anchorage, AK 99507
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