Tag: homeless

Anchorage Assembly directs millions to Health Department for winter homeless sheltering

The Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday redirected millions of dollars toward sheltering homeless residents during the upcoming winter and to local housing efforts.

Members also unanimously approved a resolution laying initial groundwork for the possible use of a recently vacated city office building. The resolution asks that Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration present details to the Housing and Homelessness Committee on Sept. 20 regarding possible use of the former Solid Waste Services administrative building at its old Central Transfer Station site in Midtown as a congregate shelter, warming area or navigation center.

The funding measure, passed in a 9-2 vote, directed about $4.1 million to the Anchorage Health Department to cover shelter beginning in mid-October. Assembly members Kevin Cross and Scott Myers voted against it. Member Meg Zaletel did not participate in the vote.

The measure comes as the city hurries to prepare for sheltering at least 400 to 450 people who are living outside this summer. Private shelters in the city are largely full. Hundreds of people are living in large encampments and in dozens of smaller camps dotting the city’s green spaces and public lands. City plans so far have focused largely on sheltering people in hotel rooms, though officials have said the city needs at least one congregate shelter.

In a last-minute change Tuesday night, members also directed $1.3 million to the nonprofit Anchorage Housing and Affordable Land Trust to purchase vacant and abandoned properties to renovate and turn into housing for people who have been experiencing homelessness.

Jason Bockenstedt, executive director of the trust, said the housing project is contingent on dollar-for-dollar matching funds. The full $2.6 million would allow the trust to open 30 to 40 units of housing. Those

Moncton mobile health unit brings care to homeless

Hoping to meet the rising demand, outreach programs in the Moncton area are expanding outside of the clinic walls to help reach clients where they are.

The idea took off during the pandemic when health-care professionals realized how challenging it would be for people living rough or homeless to receive care.

“It could be on the side of the street. It could be in shelters,” said nurse practitioner France Maillet-Gagnon. “So it’s really connecting with the services they are already going to sometimes.”

The Salvus Clinic, a not-for-profit organization, has been providing shelter services for three years. However, a new collaboration between Vitalité and Horizon Health Networks has allowed them to expand to all four homeless shelters and have more resources available.

“The goal is always to be impactful, meaning that you also want to help them exit homelessness, right? So you want to make sure you connect them with other services even if they would have a provider already,” said Maillet-Gagnon.

“You can initiate the treatment, but also kind of encourage them to have those follow-ups.”

Last fall, Salvus was able to purchase a mobile health unit which allows them to drive to each city shelter once a week. The team on board is made up of members from Salvus, Vitalité and Horizon.

The Salvus mobile health clinic outreach team is pictured standing in front of the mobile clinic on April 12, 2023. (Alana Pickrell/CTV)

“We have had over 250 unique individuals accessing the service and over 400 unique types of appointments,” said Melissa Baster, executive director of Salvus Clinic.

“It can be anything from wound care to regular primary health-care treatment to a conversation with the peer health navigator to housing needs.”

The goal is to provide wrap-around services.

“It’s not just to give care in that moment,”

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