By MAYOR DAVE BRONSON
Reflecting on more than a year and a half as mayor of Anchorage, I realize now more than ever, that the issue of homelessness touches nearly every aspect of our great
city. Whether we are talking Parks & Recreation, Police, Fire, or our Health Department homelessness touches every department within the Municipality. In the community, we know that homelessness is impacting our workforce, our small businesses, and our image as a top tourist destination. With that understanding, it is essential that we approach it effectively, compassionately, efficiently, and quickly.
As a pragmatist, I must admit that as a society we may never entirely “solve” the homeless challenge. However, I am convinced that we can manage it in a way to feel safe on our streets, trail systems, and in our neighborhoods. I am confident we can be a city where tourists leave with the overwhelming sense of wanting to return and where our business owners are motivated to invest time, energy, and money in our beautiful city.
To effectively manage our homeless challenge, we must first understand it at a very fundamental level.
Regardless of how someone becomes homeless, each person must have a place to go at every moment of every day. Whether it be in a home, a place of employment, a restaurant, hiking with friends, worshiping at church, or exercising at the gym, it really does not matter. Everyone needs a place.
For our fellow citizens who are experiencing homelessness, they too need a place. For some, that place might be a hotel that has been converted into housing, a shelter that has been built to protect them from the elements, or a church that has opened their doors to support them. What we must strive for is that their place is not a street corner or under a blue tarp in our parks.
It is my job as Mayor to ensure the places our unhoused citizens live are good for both them and our city.
If we are to be a successful and prosperous city going forward, we must effectively manage our homeless situation, and we must do it collaboratively.
This is not an easy or simple task. But it is one we must face together. We need more shelter space. We need more drug and alcohol detox and treatment beds, as well as the trained labor force to staff these facilities. Ultimately, we need more housing development. We need more housing, of all types, across all levels of affordability. It is time for our city to come together to make it easier, and more affordable for citizens to build, develop and ultimately live in Anchorage.
This will all cost money, but we will pay a far greater price as a community if we are not successful in this endeavor. Our businesses, especially in downtown and midtown, will continue to struggle. We will slouch further toward the failed models that are Seattle, Portland, and San Diego, amongst others. Tourists may avoid Anchorage itself as they pass through to the rest of Alaska. Private investment in our city could shrink as more residents consider moving to the Valley or even out of state.
The good news is that we have accomplished a great deal so far over the last 19 months.
We have successfully marshaled new housing operations being managed by public-private partnerships with more in the works. The Assembly and I are focused and motivated to deal with this great challenge. While we may differ on some tactics on how to accomplish our shared objectives, we agree that doing nothing is simply unacceptable.
We must provide places for those who need them so that we can once again feel comfortable to use our parks and trails as places to recreate; so that our business owners no longer bear the brunt of dealing with a problem that is collectively ours; so that we restore the Sullivan Arena to its original intent as a sporting and community event center; so that we can get our great city back on the right track.
I am confident we can meet this challenge and be a successful, prosperous, and forward-thinking city. But first, everyone needs a place.
Dave Bronson is the mayor of Anchorage.
Mr. Mayor, I commend your efforts, but you are fighting a loosing battle. Anchorage has been overrun with money and power hungry obstructionists. Jesus couldn’t end homelessness in his time, but he had to try. More power to you sir.
“……..Jesus couldn’t end homelessness in his time, but he had to try……..”
He did not “try” to end homelessness or even poverty. He clearly stated that it will always exist:
Mark 14: 7
“……The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them, but you will not always have me………”
The social/political/moral question isn’t whether or not we have to do something. The battle is over what we will do, how we will do it, how we pay for it.
Mr Mayor your words today are so much better than hard lining a primary orientation to homelessness reduction byutilizing vagrancy laws as a solution to homelessness. Great-make our jails pay for housing at a more giant rate than housing in the community. Reading your piece today I hear a better educated Mayor speaking. Good for you.
And good for your campaign to move more center on this issue if you expect to be a viable second term candidate.
Yes, Maureen, everyone needs a place.
And the place for willful derelicts, and those who refuse to take any responsibility for their own lives, is outside of society. This pandering to the most dysfunctional and worthless of humanity is not only futile and degrading, it is a waste of increasingly scarce resources.
Missing my point J. But thanks for reading.
I’m so glad I voted for this guy. Yeah it’s a shame Mr Bronson has to battle with a combative Assembly/City Council, but I believe his policies are sincere.
Now let the crowing of Bronson haters/Assembly supporters begin.
The Assembly members are voted in as well, Zack.
Are you saying their stated concerns about Gerace’s comfirmation were combative?
Looks like most of the crowing came from haters of both the assembly and the homeless… Swing and a miss on predicting the tenor of follow up comments, most seem to be mad that Bronson doesn’t want to actively strive to make being homeless MORE miserable (so that more people decide to knock it off :’D)
Dear Nonsensical And Overly-Long Sentences,
It is extremely easy to hate a rogue, arrogant and tyrannical municipal assembly. In fact, anyone with any sense of justice, and concern for freedom and liberty, would loathe and hate this current assembly, with their Marxist Ten majority.
What Anchorage needs is to stop making it so welcoming for the homeless. The more money thrown at any problem, the worse it gets.
Just like in, say, education.
Cut back on what you provide to the street people, most will go elsewhere.
Side note: you’re already a political dead man walking. Make use of it and tell the villages any exiled native sent to Anchorage will be sent right back. Stop allowing Anchorage to be the dumping ground for bush problems.
Unfortunately that’s illegal, because of the freedoms guaranteed in the US Constitution.
Law breakers, drug addicts, squatters & madmen can be sent some where, but not to another town.
There is a non-profit that buys tickets for people to ‘go home’ to rural AK, but they have to want to go.
Many do not. Why?
Alcohol is WAY cheaper here then in villages, where it is illegal (& bootlegged)
They won’t go elsewhere because there’s nowhere else for them to go. Some have been run out of their own villages and some have left on their own. If you take away money and infrastructure for the homeless, all you do is invite more of the same. More homeless living in the woods, more homeless living on the streets having sex and sharing needles and defecating on the sidewalks. More crime. More of the same. If you want less homelessness you have to solve the problem not look the other way.
“……..More homeless living in the woods, more homeless living on the streets…….”
In addition to the standard homeless crisis in Anchorage shared with other cities nationwide, ours is compounded by climate. In summer, the homeless substance abusers prefer “camping” in the woods where they can get intoxicated freely and cause wildfires with their campfires. In winter, they want a warm place to stagger to after getting intoxicated. The leftists in Alaska want to build them two systems to facilitate that. The conservatives want to create a system that impels reform. The courts have sided with the leftists. Conservatives have refused to accept that. We are all held captive by that political/legal/social reality.
The sun rises, then sets. Another day begins to renew the endless battle…………
No. If you take away the funding, they go where the funding is. Like Seattle, Portland, SF.
Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks didn’t have the homeless problem they do now until they started throwing more money at it.
Since you don’t live here you haven’t seen the tent cities springing up in amounts that didn’t exist 10 years ago. It’s very easy to preach compassion with other people’s money, property, and lives.
Fla doesn’t have near the problem the west coast does because Fla doesn’t view homeless as a growth industry. Even Delaware has a successful program requiring getting clean as part of the process.
Churches are not day centers or overnight cold weather shelters! Its a house of
worship,prayer, and study!
So Christian of you, Jen.
Catholics have operated the Brother Francis Shelter and Christians have operated the Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission for @ 40 years. The only problem with that is that they’re no longer big enough. Would you be akin to operate another such facility in another location for 40 years, then we compare yours with the Brother Francis Shelter and Anchorage Gospel Rescue Mission?
Bronson said no known providers and gave the license to a group with no experience running shelters. Thanks Joe Gerace.
This Mayor has asked churches to open to homeless, especially families.
Do you follow this mayor or not?
It is Christian to expect more out of people.
That’s funny. Approximately 50 years ago, Bishop Gordon urged the parishes of his diocese to make their buildings available for greater service to their communities instead of merely opening for Sunday morning church services. Last month, I toured a church building which currently houses a residential recovery program and is undergoing renovations in order to open as a day shelter next month. Which money-hungry megachurch is influencing your line of thinking here?
You have to ask yourself what would Jesus have done? I think he would have opened the doors. In fact I think he did.
Your bible must not have the New Testament. Most of your posts fly directly in the face of what you allegedly believe. Your posts do far more harm to the Word and Mission of Christ than most anything on these forums.
Churches are for sinners, not saints. So you should be right at home with your attitude. Frankly I sincerely doubt you are a Christian. You certainly don’t act like one via your posts. My guess is a Karen who googles scripture. Occasionally.
I’ve never been and never will be part of a congregation which does not actively try to help people in crisis.
Missions (I assume you’ve heard the term) are often limited in scope due to funds and congregational manpower, but the effort must be there. As followers of Jesus, it is our obligation. Not a prerogative.
A sampling of activities I’ve seen in churches I’ve been associated with include (certainly not limited to):
Food banks, thrift stores, helping find housing and job training, daycare for the children of homeless, sponsoring/co sponsoring homeless and abused women’s shelters, food, staffing, and physical assistance as the flock can provide, legal referrals, limited free healthcare, bill paying, AA/NA, hot lunches, and the beat goes on. And none with the requisite of attending service, getting saved, or tithing.
While I agree churches proper are not suited long term housing of people, the Church proper has a long history of literally opening it doors in times of crisis. More, as the Body of Christ, we are obliged by Jesus himself to seek the aid and welfare of those in need. Not necessarily by proving long term housing on site, but by things like helping people find housing, jobs, getting them off drugs, providing shelter for victims of abuse, the list goes on and on and on. Often part of this duty is providing tough love, and having to make hard calls about how to help the most people with limited time and resources.
Since your “Bible” is several hundred pages short, allow me to remind you of a few verses you may not have ever heard before. As always, interpretations will vary.
James 2: 14-17
and most importantly of all…
You essay TMA above is why I have come to understand so called “Christians” are really “Old Testementers”. Obviously with a few pages missing there as well.
The Bible was written by man. Flawed men who left out many books because the cannon of the day wouldn’t allow it. The priests and writers had to maintain authority and power at all costs. Similar to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It’s probably best to pick and choose which concepts you agree with and ignore those that are for lack of a better word sketchy. Remember the Bible recommends for us to beware of a false prophet.
Your strategy suggests two-dimensional thinking. I like to keep my eyes and mind open and focus on what could be possible instead of polarization.
Not very holy of you.
Put a travel tax on every village that banished someone that ends up homeless in Anchorage. Make it proportional to the number of villagers that are homeless in Anchorage. Do the same thing for Fairbanks, Juneau, Seattle and Portland for good measure.
Mayor Bronson … How about we consolidate students into greater class room sizes, let those high-priced teachers prove their worth and justify their excessive pay, decreasing the amount of teachers and administrators saving the city vast amounts of denarrios, convert some local schools into shelters, and start passing out snow shovels to the homeless (giving them a short-term job clearing sidewalks) or, trash bags and brooms to do spring-summer cleaning around the city, in fair trade for the free room and board.
Go ahead and run with it!
Sounds good ….won’t happen, not good enough for the bleeding hearts in the Homeless Industrial Complex
Not enough showers, too many rules, holding signs at intersections is easier then shoveling etc …etc.
I’m sorry Mayor, but is that the best you can say is that everyone needs a place! Where are the ideas to get these people off our streets and out of our parks?
I say The ones breaking the law should be arrested and put in jail immediately that day. If they can’t make bell, they stay in jail. This will give some of them time to sober up or detox from the drugs they are on. The ones with mental illness should get treatment for that illness before they are let back out on the street again. The ones who are living in tents in our parks because they don’t have a place to live should be connected with the Private or public agencies that can assist them and getting back on their feet and in a proper housing situation.
I’m sorry but as I see it, there are simple solutions. If only the people in charge would enforce the laws we have, and stop turning a blind eye to what these people are doing to our city.
The “ones living in tents” prefer that to living in any facility that may have rules. It is mostly not due to not having a place to live.
Hmmm…you know what you get when you feed the poor starving rabbits and provide them with a better life? More rabbits and a growing problem. People aren’t rabbits but it works just the same…only it costs those who didn’t hopelessly screw up their lives a lot more. There’s no easy solution but making it more palatable to be homeless doesn’t discourage homelessness…it encourages it. But, hey, go ahead and turn Anchorage into a homeless friendly destination and see what happens. Bronson obviously lacks the spine to take the hard approach to vagrants so he’d rather be compassionate with your money. He’s not footing the bill, after all…you are.
I’ve got “a place”. I bought it. Took a good part of a lifetime to pay for it. And every year I had to pay local government for the right to live here.
Now I have to pay for “a place” for others to stay in. People who don’t and won’t work. People who don’t and won’t pay local taxes.
Does anybody remember John Martin III? He was downtown Anchorage’s original sidewalk tent occupant. The guy who tried to walk barefooted to Illiamna with a puppy in winter. Who sailed to Russia in an 8′ dinghy. He was the insane guy who set the future course for Anchorage……of course, with the help of homeless political advocates monied up with federal funds as NGOs and the media, who Trump correctly called “the enemy of the people”.
Mr. Mayor, you’re in way over your head. Your trusty old F-15 Eagle isn’t going to shoot down this enemy. You’re fighting an army of the insane who are allied with an even larger army of the evil. Build them something, exactly what they want, and you’ll have to do it again, just like we’re doing now after creating the Brother Francis Shelter.
It never ends. It grows.
The homeless vets Reggie, them too?
Vets are people just like everybody else…….except leftists. They’re clearly different.
You are familiar with the VA domiciliary on C Street, correct? It’s considered an important enough place that the People Mover operates Route 25, a ridiculously long route which is never on time due to traffic on C and on Tudor Road, solely so residents can get to the VA clinic and back via a single bus ride. Like many shelters, people are expected to be sober and follow rules in order to stay. What’s your experience with BFS? I was a full-time volunteer there and at Bean’s for nearly 15 months. Reggie is generally right, though I suspect he doesn’t know the half of it.
Why yes I am. And was a part of the multi-agency cooalition to end homelessness for way longer than 15 months.
Vets were represented, we all supported the domicilary and also supported vets when they said they needed more housing for homeless vets on top of that because the stats showed the need.
That’s all part of being part of society though. What you left out were the part that the people can’t work because of mental illness. Everybody has to put a little something in the kitty. You say you worked hard and good for you for being so successful. But don’t look down your nose that people who haven’t had the fortunes that you have. Have you no compassion? Remembering back to my Alaskan history class, I think I can remember this land being taken by the Russians and then sold to the United States without natives having any say so in it. Generations later, I wonder how that would make you feel if it happened to you and your family? Walk a mile in their shoes before you are so judgmental.
I’ve been homeless, too (yes, Maureen, I’m a vet). But while being homeless I worked, and there was no free housing available back then, even temporarily.
“……..this land being taken by the Russians and then sold to the United States without natives having any say so in it………”
Russian interests and investments were purchased in 1867. In 1972, so were those of the natives. Recognition of fee simple land ownership to 44 million acres (equivalent to the land area of the state of Missouri, and most of it riverfront and coastal) by the United States government was signed into law, and nearly $1 billion cash payment (big bucks in 1972) was made to just 125K Alaska natives in existence at the time. That doesn’t include the consideration of full medical benefits beforehand and since for all Alaska natives, and all kinds of federal preferences in contracting, employment, and other benefits. Add to that federal and state assistance in village investments, emergency response, and infrastructure, and your ‘poor, old native’ line rings fully hollow.
Now show me the investment or assistance by native corporations into the homeless crisis in Alaskan cities or even villages, especially considering the prevalence of native homeless imported into Anchorage from the villages. More, compare that native homelessness in Anchorage with that in Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Juneau, Dillingham, or Bethel (our other regional hubs). There are two sides to every coin, Gregory……….
Reggie-clearly you got yours.
‘It is my job as Mayor to ensure the places our unhoused citizens live are good for both them and our city.’ – I could not disagree more! We elected you to be our Mayor not to run a shelter. Homelessness, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, mental illness, etc are a moral responsibility and the government is not a moral agency, quite the opposite, it is motivated by strictly political decisions and chooses to help one class of people over another for political gain. Non-profit churches and religious groups is who should be doing this job, they have compassion and help people regardless of political class, financial status, race, etc.
The USA didn’t have much of a poverty problem until Lynden B Johnson started his war on poverty. Anchorage has found the same effect, the more we spend to alleviate homelessness, the more homeless we have. It tripled under the last mayor and will triple again if you do what you propose. What we need is to simply enforce the laws on panhandling and public intoxication. If you spend less and tax me less, than I will have more to give to non-profits who are actually effective and reaching these people. Focus your energy on doing what you should do and not creating more bureaucracy.
Seriously, let’s offer them a voluntary free bus ride to Martha’s Vineyard… Again, strictly on a voluntary basis.. After all, it’s much warmer there… And they can have a sit down beer and a meet and greet with the Obama’s!! After all, everyone deserves a shot at a better life… I know they would LOVE it… I would too, but unfortunately I don’t qualify.. For multiple reasons..
It doesn’t sound to me like you are being very serious. Why would any native want to leave their Homeland? I doubt the obamas would sit down and have a beer with anyone from Alaska. You are correct everyone is entitled to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And yet there’s nothing stopping you from moving to Massachusetts. Seriously.
“…….Why would any native want to leave their Homeland?…….”
Why would they want to leave their villages? Is it because their neighbors and family want them to because they’ve become too great a burden? Or is it because their village is dry, and Anchorage is very, very wet? And very, very free?
It’s not for you to decide. Free country
It would cost less to give each homeless person (that wants it) $1k and
a one way ticket to southern California where they would have
very mild winters and lots of friends just like them.
What’s to stop other states then sending us theirs?
Very savage winter weather comes to mind.
So. Why would we send folks by heritage and experience accustomed to savage coldness to 100+ degree southern California?
I didn’t realize there was lots of native alaskans in Southern California that were homeless. You learn something everyday on here.
The homeless are made up of three groups. Those who are down on their luck and need a little help to restore their rightful place among us, they don’t cause problems or commit crimes, in fact we rarely see them. Then there are the mentally ill, they will require our help and our love for all their lives. We owe it to them, to ourselves and most importantly to GOD. The last group are the lazy the layabouts, the shirkers, the trouble makers and criminals. These folks are incorrigible, the only thing they understand is force. That is why we grant our civil authorities the use of force. This is NOT a complicated nor an insurmountable problem. But boy oh boy are some folks making bank on it. And they do NOT want this resolved.
Bingo…and unfortunately, the people and entities making money from the homeless are effective at proselytizing and convincing otherwise intelligent folks that, in the interest of not leaving a single one of the 1st two groups behind, the taxpayers must pony up to throw ever increasing amounts of money at the 3rd group.
My one request is not to put the ones with issues with drugs and alcohol in areas near neighborhoods or schools. Look for areas that are away from liquor stores and set up small community clinics near them rather than putting them near hospitals which make many feel unsafe in the area because of past experiences of being accosted by the homeless. There are large tracts of land such as where the old native hospital was located down town that could be used to build a community of tiny houses or single room apartments for those who have issues with drugs and alcohol.
Open up apartment the dwellings for those with children near schools and on the city bus line for parents to access jobs and other services.
What ever is done the safety of out citizens is paramount. People need to feel safe in their neighborhoods, shopping, going to the hospital, and in their homes. I feel that those who need help with drugs and alcohol are often a danger to others while those who have families are truly looking to get back on their feet and keep their children in school. It is as important to separate these two populations as it is to protect the citizens of Anchorage as a whole. I believe that moving those who have serious issues to areas away from the general population and the things that tempt them to fall further will be of benefit to them and the city. I also believe that their PFDs should be confiscated to assist with the cost of treatment as it should not fall on the backs of the residents of this city to pay for something that is not their fault or their responsibility. It is the responsibility of their families or the communities that dumped them in Anchorage.
“My one request is not to put the ones with issues with drugs and alcohol in areas near neighborhoods or schools…….”
Such an area doesn’t exist within the Anchorage bowl. And if you try to close the Anchorage Rescue Mission and Brother Francis Shelter and bus the homeless to a place like the Point McKenzie Corrections Farm, the lawyers, judges, and social agencies (the friendly folks currently profiting handsomely from this fubar) will shut you down before you even get started. There is no solution because a sizable and powerful segment of this society refuses to cooperate in a feasible solution.
The problem is Karens are off-leash. Branson is prey and sport.
Luv ya, Dave, and you’re nothing short of a breath a fresh air in very dark times for Anchorage but I’ll respectfully disagree with you on this one.
We just don’t need more shelter space; we need less of it.
Although compassion and charity are commendable virtues, we can easily see that tolerance for today’s bum culture begets more of the same in much the same way we can see that putting out excesses of tasty and expensive trash would lure in more unwanted garbage bears.
However unkind the analogy might be, we just don’t need any more bums than we need any more garbage bears. Build it and they will come or take it away and they’ll go away.
And worse than the growing numbers of bums, far too many of who’ve willfully chosen loafing and begging as a rewarded lifestyle in the absence of valuable public shame, we clearly have a growing, parasitic homeless-industrial complex in our midst pulling in piles of public cash, destroying the public order and safety, and cloaking themselves in altruism on their way to the bank.
We could even quite fairly look at some of the very same Assembly members who you’re focused and motivated to deal with as among the foremost offenders.
It’s most definitely a monumental and complex problem, Dave, but the welcome mat for “unhoused citizens” is worn out, it smells of waste, and it’s past time to throw it out.
Anchorage is not unique as a North American urban nightmare. Keep giving drug money to addicts and keep compounding the problem. Everything else you say are vapid platitudes.
Detox, rehab & hopefully jobs for those that will cooperate.
Jail & mental institutions (group homes) for those who don’t; but instead continue to be bad neighbors that break our laws.
A place for everyone.
Look up the history of vagrancy laws in America George.
I met a “homeless” man who owned a home and had a wife and kids. They didn’t know where he was, and he laughed as he talked about his situation. “Why should I go home? I get a free meal and a change of clothes from the [charity] and jump on the train when I want to see something new. My life[style] has no responsibilities.”
I agree that those who need to be treated are treated. However, those that choose to be in their situation will continue as long as complacency is reinforced.
The operating and maintenance cost for Bronson’s tent in the woods to hide the homeless would cost more than renting 300 2 bedroom apartments. Bronson will be a one term Mayor and leave a hollowed out municipal operation
I get “A place for everyone”. How about everyone for a place (for everyone?)
From my perspective, powerful people are “staking their claim” on this and many other issues.
This “claim”, then needs protecting(?) Otherwise, are they claiming ownership of the problem or the solution?
The result… individual conflict… seldom based on the facts of the situation.
Does this “claim” alleviate the common citizen of their societal obligations.
Otherwise.. SEP (“Somebody Else’s Problem”.. Douglas Adams)
Thank You for the consideration.
In May of 1982 I came to Alaska. On the flight up I sat next to a lady who was a downtown business owner. She told about the problem of vagrants sleeping in the entrance to her business, that was 40 years ago. Difference between then and up to about 6 years ago you could walk the streets of Anchorage at 2PM or 2AM and feel safe. Not so today wonder if it will ever be again.
I came up in 2001. Same story. The drastic turn for the worse came under Berkowitz. Remember his invitation to the homeless to camp on the Parkstrip? That’s when the vagrancy laws stopped being enforced.
The Assembly and their bedfellows in City Hall have continued to blow this problem out of proportion and simply use it as a cash cow.
The Assembly is not focused on anything but their own navels and self-aggrandizing agenda. I wish the mayor had cleaned house in City Hall and enforced the laws already on the books instead of “trying to work” with a bunch of Socialists who have no interest in working with him -they’re interest is -and has been from the beginning!- to destroy Bronson and bring down his administration! We knew they would do this when took office.
It’s time to take a page out of DeSantis’ book: ignore the snowflakes, man up, take the bull by the horns, and do what you can as mayor with or without the fawning of the Ass!!!
This is not a time to be seeking popular approval by writing this kind of “I’m committed” drivel. The people who elected you will do so again if you honor your word and take action, not based on a stamp of approval from the Ass or the media.
Take courage! Do not be afraid to perform the duties of your office! We voted for you because we believe you’re the man for the job. We are now behind you with our prayers.
How much does it cost to jail someone versus housing them? You glad to pay the federal taxes that will come to us through corrections for that?
I never once felt unsafe while visiting Anchorage from the bush. I once carried a ziplock baggie with about $10,000 cash in plain sight as I walked a block to the bank. I got a few looks but no one made an approach. It was a good thing too because Mr Beretta would not have approved of some sort of hostile activity.
Just reading the wide range of ideas and comments from the Mayors message makes the task of coming up with a viable solution that will satisfy everyone impossible. The solution the socialist section of the Assembly insists that we spend spend spend as they and their cohorts are filling their pockets with our money being thrown at it. Just look at how they rushed to blow the 50 MILLION DOLLARS of covid relief! As Dumbar (as giddy as a kid in a candy store with a free $100 bill) stated it is an excellent opportunity to help “certain groups” with financial equity to gain equality in our community. That is not the intended purpose of the funds but there was little oversight on how it was spent. Their preferred method is to put the homeless up in their cohorts (empty in the winter) hotel rooms. That method will certainly make the lineup of homeless much longer as I will be in the line also if they also tax me out of my property to pay for it. The Mayor has great intentions but with a Hostile Assembly majority he has very little chance of reaching anything good and decent. Everyone needs to look at how this situation grew so rapidy with Berky and his majority rulers self serving themselves!
The Assembly will NOT go along with any solution the mayor comes up with. It has to be THEIR solution!
Housing first is a failure. It never works and never will. The problem is not lack of housing, it starts on the inside, the heart. Housing is putting a band aid on a gunshot wound. As our society crumbles from the inside, we will only get more and more of this. It is a failure of the home. Each homeless person has a story. Drug addiction, alcohol addiction, mental illness is a symptom of the brokenness of this world. As more and more people experience sexual abuse, mental addiction and all the evils of sin on our society, our problem will compound. I don’t envy your job mayor. You are not in a position that you can succeed.
Not really familiar with how Housing First works JJ, are you.
It’s highly successful.
Yes, Maureen — it is very successful at stimulating the growth of more of the homeless.
But as we know, marshaling and evaluating evidence and facts, and acknowledging reality, are not the forte of radical leftists such as yourself.
No in keeping people off the streets J.
Maybe read some about Housing First.
Pretty limited in communication skills J? Name calling me because I have a different opinion?
I was not “name calling”, Maureen, merely pointing out a fact.
And the fact is that you are a radical leftist. Own up to it.
Radical leftist is indeed name calling.
Well someone has to say something about your patronizing holier than thou comments “you need to read this…”, “you’re not Christian enough”, etc. Seeing as this is the attitude often associated with the radical Progressive left in ANC his comment was not name calling but entirely valid.
Sorry Dave, but neither you, nor the liberal assembly will ever “fix” the homeless issue, because the “homeless” don’t want to be fixed. They want to smoke, drink, and drug their lives away, and don’t want you telling them what they can or can’t do, but they do want you to keep wasting millions of dollars on them, so they can have a warm place to sleep in the winter, and free food whenever they want it.
What should be done, is make them work to earn these free-bees. Take them out and make them pick up trash, or clear roadways of vegetation in the summer. Make them shovel sidewalks in the winter.
Democrats create problems and if they don’t create it they capitulate to it.
You are right, mayor, everyone needs shelter. In my prime, I worked my butt off so that my family would have a nice place. Built it myself while working two jobs. Now I am too worn out physically to work, and only desire to finish in the home I built and paid for. Guess I built too nice of a place because now it’s assessed for taxes at 10 times what I paid for it. Half of my social security pension check must go to local taxes. The other half is for utilities and beans. When I see how my taxes are being spent, it angers me. I always gave to charity when I worked, but now I have to give to charity or risk loosing my home. I have never taken charity or government handouts and never will. If charity is to become forced upon people involuntary then it should be sourced from the people who are still young enough to work, not on retirees who want to live out their remaining days in their homes. The use of our taxes by the municipality borders communism. If you have a moral obligation to help the less fortunate, then use the money from like minded people who have the ability to pay. Don’t tax us out of our homes and take food from my small table for your charity.
Gee, let’s just ship them to the southern border. It’ll be a while before they make it back. Maybe Abbott will even put them on a but to NY, DC or wherever
They’re Americans. Why do you hate them so?
The ‘homeless’ problem is not a problem at all, nor is it ‘complex’.
It is actually a very simple basis of fact.
Fact one. There are varying causes of homelessness. That is hard luck, mental illness, and voluntary behavior.
Fact two. There are varying responses to homelessness. That is family, neighborhood, community, church, and governmental support.
Fact three. Governmental solution is NEVER the solution to homelessness, except within a singular case, and that is within homeless vets, whereas homeless vets should reside within military bases as mentors based upon their acknowledged service whilst receiving support, both physically and psychologically.
Fact four. Any entity that profits from the homeless industry, be it supposed ‘non-profit’ entities, those that run said entities, or politicians that benefit from said entities should be charged and jailed as a beneficiary of said funds so to benefit themselves over those that they claim to represent.
Meg Zaletel being a prime example.
There is a path forward unto this solution, and that is to end any and all public, that is governmental funding, from this supposed solution, except for homeless vets.
Allow the individual, family, neighborhood, community, church, military for homeless vets, mental support, and true non-profits to attend unto the issue.
Those left over after that list are not deserved of assistance, by choice, as that is their choice, and not worth the expenditures of the taxpayer.
After that, those left out are on their own, as they see fit, free from support other than their own, and willing to accept the results and responsibility of their own behavior and lifestyle.
Tell me where I am wrong.
Hey Bronson. I hear someone wants their SIX downtown blocks of property back. Uh. Oh.
Someone else said it here: Homeless Industrial Complex. That essentially means that people, like Meg Z, are making big money off the homeless. Countless organizations make big money serving the homeless. As long as there’s money to be had from the government or handouts, there will be homeless. Once that money dries up and the issue is back in the hands of churches, volunteers, then I suspect the homeless issue will be better in any city. Finally, whether we like it or not, Anchorage is a “sanctuary city.” Through Catholic Social Services we’ve been supporting homeless here for years.
Subsidize something, you get more of it.
The homeless epidemic is what happens when heavy industry and 12+ million jobs are shipped overseas. Most homeless are men. Those are men without jobs, without hope, without purpose. That’s what a job gives to a man. History had its Hoovervilles, these are our Globalismvilles. Add to that an open border that lets in drugs, a socially permissive attitude towards vice—which feeds all addictions, a declining society and there’s not a town, mayor or budget that can fix this problem. The cherry on top? NOW ADD that the homeless problem is not a “problem” to the Left. It is an opportunity to ‘expose’ capitalism and tax the working and middle classes out of existence. Progressive Leftists will ensure the problem of homeless people, addiction and everything unsightly NEVER goes away. It is too much of an opportunity for them.
“Never let a good crisis go to waste”.
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