Anchorage’s Sockeye Inn soon will be used to house medically fragile homeless

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The first of four pillars of the Anchorage response to the homeless problem in Anchorage moved ahead with the purchase of the Sockeye Inn, where medically fragile homeless people will be housed. Medically fragile homeless are typically defined as homeless people referred by an agency, organization, or hospital with a medically verified need for non-congregate 24/7 housing.

As the administration of Mayor Dave Bronson takes steps to recover the Sullivan Arena for its intended purposes and move the people sleeping there to various shelters, the Mayor’s Office and three members of the Assembly negotiated for months to get to this point.

Several steps are ahead in the four-pillar process.

This portion of the plan is unique in that it is a public-private-philanthropy partnership. The Sockeye Inn is being purchased philanthropic groups and the city, with the Alaska Community Foundation providing the hub for the financial part of the deal. The $4.8 million purchase will close on March 31, and the former inn at 303 West Fireweed Lane will be run as a 501(c)(3), with Catholic Social Services contracted to operate it. Half of the funds to purchase the vacant hotel came from private philanthropy, including the Rasmuson Foundation and an offshoot of the Weidner Company.

The next pillar of the four-point plan is a navigation center to get homeless people the services and help they need. After that, the plan will include workforce housing center for those who are employed but cannot afford rents, and senior housing for elderly homeless people.

Larry Baker, on behalf of the Mayor’s Office, and two others from the administration negotiated with Assembly members Chris Constant, Meg Zaletel, and John Weddleton starting in August and, with the help of mediator Admiral (ret.) Tom Barrett, agreed to the overall framework for the exit plan for the Sullivan Arena. Each side gave a little to get to the agreement, sources told Must Read Alaska. The Assembly ultimately approved the plan over the objections of Assemblyman Forrest Dunbar.

The plan underway is a departure from the former mayor’s plan to purchase various hotels around town, including the Golden Lion on 36th and New Seward Highway, the America’s Best Value Inn on Spenard Road, and the old Alaska Club on Tudor Road. Of those, only the Golden Lion was purchased before Bronson took office, but it is not the drug addict treatment center that former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz envisioned. Neighbors in the area of town objected to having that clientele in their neighborhood.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Mayor Bronson you have a busy shovel cleaning up all there crap sir. Stick to it for the people by the people of the people. Ha ha Ethan and the assembly and all the other oath breakers you did not destroy anchorage. We are building back oath integrity healthier and for all.

  2. You know that the people need God and the transforming redeeming salvation of jesus christ. Without him Private and government there be a continual search for more land and
    more housing. It be much easier just put a chapel and bible in the schools. This way your kids won’t grow up wandering the streets looking for jesus they never heard about him. Yes! Its unbelievable. That we have young adults, americans, right here in anchorage who never were taught about jesus.

  3. Here in Juneau we have some new “mentally fragile” housing. Just this week we had one tenant throw another out a second story window. The victim was airlifted to Seattle where they succumbed to their injuries. Police also located a convicted and wanted sexual offender who had been hiding and taking up residence there. Good luck with this, BTW, we have more being built.

  4. Will the (drug-addled and socially burdensome) homeless also receive a mint on their pillow and a complementary minibar, as well? If not, why not? It would after all be right in line with forcing Anchorage taxpayers to subsidize degenerate, destructive and dead-end lives.

  5. Mayor Bronson, you have done more then the Assembly who just wanted to house them in a buildings. .. Just make sure that the people that are staying there, understand they are not allowed to bring drugs and alcohol into the building..Most of the medically fragile people you will have there will try to leave once they realize what the rules are…

  6. I’m grateful the most vulnerable will have a roof but this is a knee jerk response to a long standing issue, the location in a very busy intersection, poor choice! Look at the Sullivans location issues, I’ve seen folks stumbling into Traffic from 6th to Fireweed on Gambell, Sullivan exacerbated the issue. The Golden Lion is an obvious other. The assembly’s approach is seriously flawed and I can only surmise that future attempts wont be any better. The glass ball says millions more will be spent on an unending issue constantly mired in bureaucratic bullshit with more worthless offices and positions being created, the solutions is to find/negotiate for a sizable chunk of land and begin the construction of one single use area dedicated to all those with difficulties, if I’m correct Bronson had a similar idea that was shot down. The left leaning assembly members could take a hint from Brandons about face SOTU speech the other day.

  7. Only a hardened cynic would assume Anchorage’s Assembly went along with the idea of housing for medically fragile homeless people simply because it’s a target-rich environment for ballot harvesting.

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