Camp LaFrance: Homeless have taken over entire street in midtown Anchorage

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Homeless encampment has popped up on Fairbanks Street near 42nd Ave. in Anchorage.

A warning to parents, children, and the elderly: A street just a block east of Cuddy Park has become the new no-man’s-land for street people living in cars, trucks, and tents in Anchorage.

In addition to tarps, tents, and vehicles in the street, the street is lined with trash, debris, and what are probably stolen bicycles. It’s not the kind of place where a person would walk or drive without a sidearm or an officer of the law.

After being abated from public land at 3rd and Ingra Street last year, the encampment took over Cuddy Park as well as the “Archive Property,” eight acres on the south end of the park, in Midtown. Abatement that occurred at that site in May has resulted in the homeless village reconvening a block away, on a stub of Fairbanks Ave. that is between Home Depot and the Brown Jug.

The Supreme Court has ruled that cities can enforce rules about these encampments, but the Anchorage Assembly appears to be unwilling.

The Assembly’s chair for homelessness Felix Rivera says there won’t be any action that makes street takeovers illegal. A recently passed ordinance only bans homeless campsites within a half-mile of a shelter and trims group encampments to no more than 25 tents. It’s unclear which tents will be removed if an encampment outgrows the limits.

The ordinance also says that if the city wants to clear a camp, it needs to give the campers 10 days, rather than the 15 days previously on the books.

Observers of the street village say that at least in one tent on the street, different people come and go all day, popping into the tent and then leaving. People in the village have stolen pallets from stores nearby to create structures and build fires. But police are rarely observed in the area. Anchorage Police have instead been busy ticketing speeders on the highway.

124 COMMENTS

  1. Democrats create the problem and sell you the solution. Mayor Bronson did all he could to get homeless people off our streets. The Assembly fought him at every turn. Wat h them move out of the way to give LaFake a win. Rats are despicable!

    • 100% agree. Thats where the Assembly funneled all the COVID relief money that should have gone to small businesses. Big bucks in homelessness and no solutions just a big hole you throw money into.

      • God win”s strikes again, brucey boy.. Nazis?? Really ?? I’d you get that form Poiotie-pooin the Kremlin?,your fellow Marxist

      • Got something other than internet bravado to back that statement up?
        .
        And, if you want to be accurate, Gibson is an antisemite, not a Nazi.

    • Are you for real? Last year downtown and by the railroad was an absolute s*** show of encampments.

      Stop being a partisan hack. Imagine hundreds of millions of dollars leaving Anchorage because cruise lines are considering pulling out of Anchorage and just using trains to bypass and take people to Denali and back due to what we saw in 2023.

      • Actually read the comment before you reply please.
        The Assembly fought Bronson at every turn. And, you are still laying the blame on Bronson?
        .
        Tell me, exactly how is the Mayor supposed to do anything without the Assembly’s approval? Contracts… via the Assembly, new initiatives, via the assembly…

    • “Bronson did all he could to get homeless people off our streets.”
      In reality, Bronson had one plan only and proposed a 1,000 bed tent that had no snow load studies, no cost estimates, and no plan. And that’s all he did. He didn’t propose any alternates and refused to work with the Assembly.

      • You must be an assembly shill. There exist seismic and snow load information on these structures from the manufacturer.

  2. Reminder that we never had these problems until we starting paying “nonprofit coordinators” $20,000/m to “solve homelessness”. A predictable turn of events.

      • The very same elected Assembly member who set up the sham.
        Have you ever heard the name Meg Zaletel? {been asleep for awhile?]
        She is the “Homeless Czar” just as effective at solving the homeless criris in Anchorage as is Kamala Harris is the border czar securing the border from millions of illegals invading our country and killing/raping innocent women and children.

    • Politicians can’t solve any problems without truck loads of taxpayer dollars.
      This is a Ponzi game all the way.
      Why solve a money making issue?

  3. Well let’s see the Assembly reinvent the wheel and take over all the ideas Bronson started lol. Or better yet – let’s help the homeless set up house in front of the mayor and assembly’s homes and streets. seriously buy tents and set up households for them-

  4. “It’s not the kind of place where a person would walk or drive without a sidearm or an officer of the law.”

    I’ll chose a sidearm. An “officer of the law” in this sh_thole town will do nothing until after you’re dead.

    • “……..I’ll chose a sidearm……..”
      I’ll take this article as a wonderful warning of where to stay away from. How do you think these poverty stricken people got the lawyers to get them 10-15 days notice to get their garbage off the streets? Littering has been a crime since the beginning of time. Shoot one of these beloved criminals and you’ll see lawyers slithering out of the sewers like The Blob.
      I feel sorry for Home Depot and will boycott Brown Jug for this. A whole bunch of fenced stolen goods are being spent at that store location. Close that store and watch those scumbags move to another liquor store location.

    • If the cops spent as much time busting crack and crystal meth dealers as they do with the homeless , the city would be a lot cleaner and less homeless . I should know I was a homeless Native getting picked on by the 🐷s calling me Chief and Tonto and Kimosawbee .

      • Were the cops that called you names in their late 90’s? working in their walkers and wheelchairs?
        😂 most young people don’t even know who Tonto and Kemosahbee where. The Lone Ranger really?

  5. The people of Anchorage need to bring a lawsuit against the Anchorage Assembly for not following a Supreme Court ruling and keeping the streets cleared and safe for ALL.

      • Did they really? Does Anchorage still use the voting machines? Was an audit ever done on those machines like the previous mayor requested? Just asking for an Anchorage citizen.

      • Police officers do not operate in a vacuum. They enforce the laws the politicians pass and get guidance and instructions from each administration. When Felix Rivera basically states that the city will NOT change anything after the Supreme court ruled, that says it all. You complain that police officers spend a great deal more time with homeless than drug dealers, yet it appears that such individuals have a fertile clientele and market among the homeless population. I agree with you that all people who break the law should be arrested and prosecuted.
        That you do not like police officers is your prerogative, but to complain that they supposedly called you names, (most likely to garner sympathy from the readers) while referring to them with a nasty name yourself seems ironic…. don’t you think? Respect sir goes both ways.

      • No, the problem is the poor money management, poor judgment, poor decision making of the incompetent Marxist assembly who erroneously think they know everything, then waste taxpayer money and think they need to be in charge, control everything and are experts on everything.

  6. Let’s put homeless in assembly members yards. If someone wants to make maps I am willing to hand them out, maybe even provide transportation

  7. If the assembly and mayor are going to let them camp there they should hold them responsible and I force a trash detail and the police should be there regularly checking on their recent acquisition‘s.

  8. Fallen, fallen is Anchorage the great. Woe, woe to the great city, the mighty City of Anchorage. She has been destroyed.

  9. These folks should move just a short distance away and take over Channel 2’s property. That way the TV folks can enhance their compelling coverage of the homeless. Assembly members Constant, Rivera and Zalatel could set up adjacent mobile offices and give continuous interviews. We would have one big happy family. Maybe a “summer of love” like they had in Seattle.

  10. A few observations:

    … Can we expect the city to now leave Taxes on these invaders?

    … Can we expect the Municipal code enforcement, zoning enforcement, sanitation enforcement, historical society compliance, and are they currently “permitted” for this enclave?

    … Can we expect APD to flush-out the trespassers, enforce the law, release the dogs – tasers – water cannons, and live up to their oath (ALASKA LAW ENFORCEMENT CODE OF ETHICS: “As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve all TAXPAYER citizens; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against vagrant oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against vagrant violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all Taxpayer citizins to liberty, equality, and justice. I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty. I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities, or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of vagrants and criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence, and never accepting gratuities. I will recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself (before God) to my chosen profession . . . law enforcement.”)

    • “Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty”

      😆

      There’s Miranda for a reason

      • …and the spontaneous utterance exception, what’s your point?

        Are you done sniping?? Can you actually make a thoughtful contribution?
        Do you think the city should enforce the ordinances they passed regarding use of city property, littering, public intoxication etc.?

        If they do not enforce the above mentioned ordinances, why should any municipal resident/taxpayer feel compelled to pay any heed to all those other ordinances, like building codes or zoning or for that matter the comment approval rules at the assembly meetings?

        Well??…..we are waiting!

  11. “Seeing tent cities take over Midtown Anchorage is very disheartening. I miss the days when streets were for walking, not camping.

  12. Mr. Rivera, isn’t littering a crime? Perhaps Mr. Rivera could go down there and hand out trash bags so the bums trashing that street can pick up after themselves. You know, like children do.

  13. Right of way does enforce the law.

    Police are doing nothing.

    You think The France will enforce the will of taxpayers to get rid of these Freeloaders?

    Yeah right. There is no money in solutions. Right Meg?

    • You are entirely correct! The Muni departments with responsibility over code enforcement, right of way, and zoning will do nothing to correct the myriad deficiencies at the homeless village on Fairbanks Street and the unlawful practices of individual and collective inhabitants. You can smell urine and feces if you walk down that street. And APD will not write citations for unlicensed vehicles, those missing wheels and are unroadworthy, and those that do not move at all over a 24-hour (M-F) period.

      But when one honest, service-disabled veteran and Anchorage property taxpayer has “one too many” honey bee colonies on her property, the Muni wastes no time conducting secret investigations, sending harmful certified letters, and imposing fines of $300.00 per day!

    • No it should speed up EAGLEXIT let the other taxpayer’s in LOS Anchorage foot the bill and hear them whine when their property Taxes go up again and the TAX Cap is lifted.

  14. The fools in Anchorage leadership know full well, or should, that the higher courts in this nation have already set precedence on the homelessness issue. You cannot route the homeless like that with no alternative solution to house them, in place. Deplorable inhumanity is on display here. Maybe sending a team to Spain to learn why it is they have such an incredibly low number of homeless might learn you something. Punitive measures are not a solution to anything.

    • Vote Democrats into the Assembly and this is what you get. When are people going to learn that progressive Democrats are among the dumbest people on the planet? Vote them out and clean up that street. Idiot Dems want to turn Anchorage into San Fran.

  15. Maga mindset is destroying Anchorage, from a corrupt Dave bronson to a news spin and Lafrance barely even taken office!! Smh

    • Save your finger pointing for the people who need to have fingers pointed at them. The France is just the next head of the next snake that is crawling through the streets of Anchorage. You on the left can’t stand it when news comes out that is unbiased but in its unbiased nature is still showing the pieces of garbage that the left really is. There is no money in fixing the problem that Anchorage has created for itself. There is money in speed enforcement on the highway.

    • 100%, this is the most bias opinionated reporting. Unprofessional to the maximum. LaFrance has just started her role as mayor, this topic started with dave bronson and ended up being his mess. Now LaFrance is left with the issue. None of these maga individuals are brave enough to talk to anyone in these camps, real reporting would have talked to the camps residents and reported their stories.

      • I spoke with one guy at the Fairbanks Street homeless village. Within a few minutes, he asked me whether I wanted to purchase five pounds of Fred Meyer hamburger meat from him for $20.00. After I asked him how he ended up with the hamburger meat, he said he used his food stamps for buy it and now needed $20.00 for “other reasons” (maybe rent?).

        We should not forget that the biggest thug in the Fairbanks homeless village charges others rent for the area these at the village. Crime is all over the place and blatant at the Fairbanks homeless village which is located in the Zaletel and Riviera assembly district.

      • No, you are Wrong and totally unfair in your characterizations blaming Bronson and maga. It is not a poor Lafrance has to clean up the mess situation. Perhaps you are new, or totally unaware, or just fell off the turnip truck.This started a long time ago, way Before Mayor Bronson. Try under Buttkowitz and prior. Lafrance was on the assembly before leaving to distance herself with all the priblems during her stint on the assembly, including the masks and shutting everything down fiascos.

    • Leave the country if you don’t want to MAKE AMERCIA GREAT AGAIN. Sick of those who don’t think this country is the greatest in the world but don’t have the intestinal fortitude to leave.

    • Let’s see how you are talking in a year from now when you can no longer blame this on Bronson. The Council did all they could to thwart each and every thing the outgoing administration tried to do. Now, let’s see where the new Mayor and Council can hide their mistakes? Keep building it and they will come.

    • You are wrong and have TDS. Maga has nothing to do with this, but it figures that you, as a liberal, just want to defend Lafrance, blame Maga and are incapable of looking at the problem intelligently. Lafrance was on the assembly before running for mayor and while this problem has been going on and growing, prior to Bronson taking office, courtesy of the assembly. Assembly solution is take and spend more property owners’ money on more programs they run and control. 161 Million dollars spent, and what do they have to show for it? Again, assembly is in charge of funds and how spent, just ask them. They spent All their time ensuring they controlled and had to approve everything.

  16. Just got back 10 minutes ago from the downtown properties I manage. Stolen merchandise hangers and price tags, trash all over the place and graffiti sprayed painted on the wall and poop smeared on the wall and a drugged out homeless telling me to “f ___k off”. This has been going on so long and now I am supposed to worry about Cuddy Park street?

  17. I don’t think I’ve one single post here with any empathy for the homeless. It’s a problem all over the country. Housing is so expensive you can barely afford to live in a home.

    Why aren’t the Native Corps not helping their people who are homeless in Anchorage? Why are we not more concerned for the homeless children? They barely eat and then the whole city is up in arms over feeding them for free at the schools.

    Compassion can go a long way folks. Where are they supposed to go? You can’t just outlaw poor people. The old Reagan trope that they want to be homeless is nonsense. I hope everyone gets the apathy they give when they need help. Shame on you!

    • Feel better?

      If you actually think living on the streets in squalor is “empathy and compassion”, you are a very sad and pathetic individual.

      Where should they go? Home to their families or to Suzanne LaFrances house. Or better yet, yours.

      • Also, you may take note that these pitiable persons always set up camp near areas ideal for panhandling and within walking distance to a liquor store.

        Where do we draw the line between empathy and the expectation of personal responsibility?

      • Not everyone has a family. And I haven’t seen any welcome notices posted on lafrances house.
        Your comment provides no help towards solutions, just pure apathy as described with a heaping side of callousness.
        I’m sorry for whatever trauma happened to you in the past to make you so bitter.

    • They had 58 beds in shelters last week and they could not fill them. These people have all the help they need they just don’t want it. They don’t want to get the help because they have to start to sober up. All the tax money spent on them……they have had planty of chances for help. You can’t want something for someone more than they do it doesn’t work.

    • Because the homeless don’t want the help! There are plenty of government programs set up for them, but they don’t get the help, BECAUSE THEY DONT WANT THE HELP! They are drug addicts and drunks.

    • Misplaced compassion. Most of the frustration here is at a governement that is using homelessness and providing no solutions. And as for those who are homeless, most of the situations are not in a void. Addiction, broken homes, domestic violence, invalidation of the importance of family, mental health issues, Marxist lies that government is the answer to your problems, poor decision making, affordable housing shortage (albeit most often combined with above), lack of relevant job skills, health problems – there are a myriad of actual causes.

      From the start of his tenure in office, Bronson proposed a navigation center. A place where people could go and get routed to the help they actually need, not just handouts. A place where there could also be organized provision of basic necessities such as showers and laundry. Despite the fact there will always be homelessness, the massive increase we are seeing is far more complicated and needs real ‘hand-up’, not ‘hand out’ solutions to break the cycle. The assembly did nothing but thwart good ideas for their own power and control gain.

      If you truly care then volunteer with Hope Services, Love Inc, or Gospel Rescue Mission – three organizations who are quietly making a difference in the lives of many who have been homeless. Also a good book to read is called Toxic Charity, by Robert Lupton. He has written more books but this one gives a good overview of what doesn’t work and what works.

    • Janice you start by opening up your bank accounts to the assembly and helping the homeless to live on your street and your property.
      Then you can start giving them rides to go steal stuff from law abiding taxpayers.

    • ‘Empathy for the “homeless”‘. People have empathy for those that are homeless and don’t want to be homeless. People have no empathy for the homeless that don’t care if they are homeless and just want to live a miscreant life of theft, substance abuse, scamming and self destruction.

  18. This is a couple months late, in reporting. This side street has been packed since the first day Cuddy Park was initially scheduled for disbursement. What a train wreck, enjoy!

    • Bingo!
      Janice in a comment above bemoaned our lack of compassion. How compassionate is it to provide anyone with just enough “handouts” to make it possible to stay where they are in squalor and filth. Treating individuals in a way that assumes they can do no better than children, deprives them of their right to be treated as an actual member of our society. Holding individuals to a standard, demanding behavior and consequences for choices as expected from any citizen gives dignity and respect to all. Allowing individuals to victimize others and skirt the consequences of their actions is enabling and reinforcing the lack of demands on them to seek help for a better option.
      As a plain observation, some of vehicles parked at this homeless “camp” are considerably nicer than a good many on the road belonging to those who pay taxes for this largess to continue…..

  19. Why is it that the more and more money the government throws at the homeless problem, the worse it gets? Why is that?

    • Because they are throwing it to Assembly members and their demorat cohorts who own hotels who get taxpayer dollars to house the homeless in the winter.
      It is a very convenient sham for all.

    • Follow the money. See who is actually getting rich by continuing to ensure the homeless encampments grow. It is almost like having Wars. A specific few always make money on the backs of the vulnerable few and they convince you that it is “your fault” if you don’t contribute to fix the problem.

  20. How about we form a “Take Back our Public Spaces Campaign” Everyone that wants to camp for free, bring your motorhomes, campers, tents, whatever and meet ON the grass of DENALI PARK STRIP, just pull up on it, camp wherever you want! Build firepits, leave your garbage everywhere, just trash the s#!t out of the entire park strip. Just leave our rigs parked there indefinitely. Park your cars there too so you can go to and from work of course, bc that’s how us reasonable, taxpaying citizens have to do it. It’s hard to find camping places these days, I think we should just be able to camp in any public spaces we want and trash them, just like the homeless people are doing…

  21. The Supreme Court Decision just changed the rules as to how our city must supply housing for homeless drug addicts, dealers, pandering people not willing to take work. No city has to provide housing to the homeless and they are free to action by arrest, mental hospitalization, and banning trash camps. As someone said most of this behavior already has laws that can be enforced. You just have to have the will the enforce the laws and clean up your city. Anchorage holds it self out as a visitor-friendly and safe city. What do you think? How many assembly members make an additional living working for NGOs for the homeless? Just asking if that is public corruption when you vote to fund the same programs you’re employed by. With all the “We are hiring signs” in Anchorage. Why are there people who claim they are homeless and need public support?

      • Right on the mark, ol’ boy! And here in the Great Land the churches aren’t out working for the Lord among the homeless poor and the bedraggled. I suppose that there are no tithes to be harvested from them!

  22. God, give me the serenity to accept the thing I can not change, the courage to change things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

  23. I have been broken into twice now since these camps showed up. First time I was not home, second time I had to fight the man that kicked my door down. If muni won’t take action, then the public will have to. Drugs are not culling the herd fast enough.

    They wanna break into my home. Maybe I should do the same to thir tents!

  24. Anchorage has had a problem with homeless people for decades. I was always perplexed that a city that relies on tourism would allow that nonsense to be happening right in downtown. Now that you have mail-in balloting it will continue to get worse as the democrats/socialists continue to turn places into crap holes as they have done for the last 6 thousand years. Mail-in elections have consequences as well.

  25. “Anchorage Police have instead been busy ticketing speeders on the highway.”

    Seeing APD cars sitting on the overpass between the Palmer Hayflats and Eklutna, where they harass and ticket commuters who are simply trying to get to work and pay their taxes, while ignoring the rampant crime 35 miles away in Anchorage……tells you all you need to know about the Los Anchorage leader’s priorities.

    • Ding dong. This started with Ethan Berkowitz, but you’d have to have paid attention to know that. For the rest of you liberal former journalists not paying attention, the mass camps started on Delaney Park Strip, https://mustreadalaska.com/camp-berkowitz-grows-downtown/ moved to Valley of the Moon, moved around downtown including Bean’s Cafe area and across from the auction yard, then to Cuddy by C street, then to south of Cuddy when Bronson abated that camp. It’s the homeless industrial complex here, Charles. We aren’t like Sitka. Go peddle your liberalism somewhere else.

    • Well, I happen to remember the “homeless emergency declaration” Ethan Berkowitz announced in I believe 2019.
      While Suzanne LaFrance may only be mayor for 5 minutes, she certainly was there as an assembly member when Ethan made that particular decision with the assembly’s blessing. So your claim that she had NOTHING to to with this is disingenuous and false. The assembly throughout her participation (2017-2023) has allocated considerable funds for this homeless mess and it has only grown under her watch.

    • CWB, you are WRONG. Did not start with Bronson, it has been going on a Lot longer than that. But it figures that a know it all lib like you can’t accept the truth and would have to spout off and erroneously blame Bronson.

      BTW-Lafrance was on the ASSembly prior to running for mayor and was even the chair while the homeless situation has been going on and growing.

      Blame belongs to the Assembly members with their ever expanding homeless empire they funbel all the taxpayer money into. They and the Lafrance, assembly supporters and voters as well as the non-voters

  26. Drove this the other day. It’s anarchy! And I didn’t see any children. What a prime location between a hardware store and a liquor store!

  27. This has been going on long before the new mayor. Let’s give it all our hopes that the new administration can tackle this immense problem instead of attacking her put all efforts into tackling the issue; where are the churches and their families in providing assistance to these people?

  28. Suzanne says: “But police are rarely observed in the area. Anchorage Police have instead been busy ticketing speeders on the highway.”

    Not a lot of revenue for the city in busting homeless encampments. Lots of revenue busting speeders. It’s all about priorities. Cheers –

    • Especially when told by the ruling Politburo to leave them alone.

      I wonder if Anchorage is about to see the same cop drain as Seattle.

  29. Homelessness is created by democratic free money government give aways which attract deadbeats from outside cities. Then democrats lobby for more secondary free money to try fix the original gigantic dead beat problem they deliberately created. Illogical problem solving is used to resolve illogical problems solving therefore creating a never ending welfare sink hole for taxpayers dollars. Solve the problem, kill the original free money giveaways.

  30. Lol- Are you for real? Where have you been? Give all our hopes, ha, ha, ha….The new mayor was on the assembly while all this has been going on. The assembly has current and past members all getting in on the homeless funding and running homeless programs to make $$$. Where are the churches and their families? Ha,ha,ha. No one has ever thought of that before, except you….Try been there, done that, didn’t work out.

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