Handoff at homeless shelter from Bean’s Cafe to new contractor was rough on clients


Reports are coming in that when Bean’s Cafe handed off the management of the mass care shelter at the Sullivan Arena to the new contractor, 99 Plus 1, Bean’s took all the cots and the yellow containers that the clients used to store their possessions in.

Bean’s also padlocked the porta-potties, and bolt cutters had to be brought in to open them back up, Must Read Alaska has learned. When they were opened up, all the toilet paper was missing. The keys left behind didn’t seem to go to any of the doors, and so 99 Plus 1 had to get the place rekeyed.

In addition, Bean’s Cafe left no drinking water for the clients, and clients told observers that they had not had access to the showers for six days.

The handoff between Bean’s and 99 took place at midnight on Wednesday night, after Bean’s had been in charge of the center since Mayor Ethan Berkowitz commandeered the Sullivan Arena for use as a homeless shelter in March of 2020.

In all, it was a less than ideal handoff with Must Read Alaska observers saying that Bean’s sabotaged the situation, after not winning the bid to continue the management of the facility.

Clients were left without cots, and Bean’s offered to sell each of the cots to the municipality for $100, when they were valued at, perhaps, $30. The cots had been donated to Bean’s by Municipal Light and Power and were not up to weight-bearing standards.

99 Plus 1 was able to get 600 temporary replacement cots from the Emergency Operations Center.

99 Plus 1 has now hired several staff persons beyond the contractual agreement to restore a semblance of order, sanitation, and safety to the place that was in upheaval for the past 24 hours.


  1. Sounds to me as if Bean’s was throwing a two-year old style temper tantrum because they lost their gravy train. Follow the money to find out why and also hold them accountable for the damage (including to clients)!

  2. It appears as if Bean’s Cafe had top notch, high quality, ethical employees working for it. Expected nothing but the best from a Berkowitz administration. Just like how welcoming they were for Mayor Dave Branson in his transition.

  3. Well! We all see where was Bean’s heart. I am surprised they couldn’t stay on to give a smooth transition just to save face. Bronson Administration made the right decision awarding the contract to another business partner. For this injustice done against 99 plus 1 may they prosper exceedingly and reach greater success than Bean’s ever reached caring for the clients.

    This is another moment of Do not fret because of evildoers, rest assured they will be cut off.

  4. I read ADN’s account. Which paralleled this pretty close. One point the should be noted if it is true that 99 1 stated in their RFP that they were covering cots, bins and locks then Beans was right in removing items. Ports-potties are not free. Like anything else a contract has to be signed. Assuming a property doesn’t automatically entitle you to utilities and services. You have to set them up. The company should have done more than written a great RFP. They should have prepared and had those cots ready for move in and porta potties staged.They are a business back up your RFP.
    Should the place overall be have been left better than Beans found it, yes. You were a tenant and lost your lease. Be honorable and clean up don’t just load and leave because there was no security deposit.
    I wish both parties success in their appreciated mission to help folks get back on their feet. These are tough times for our citizens, non profits and business. Let’s work together and get past these times and ALL be in a better place.

  5. I know very little about what goes on in the shelters and had no reason to doubt that Bean’s Cafe was doing a good job, until now. If true, this is incredibly childish and really exposes how they don’t care about the homeless if they are willing to use them as cannon fodder in a fit of vengeance. Are the reports coming from 3rd party people with no skin in the game on either side or are the reports coming from employees of 99 plus 1 or Bronson’s people?
    Can we stop calling them clients? Clients I suppose is better than “people experiencing homelessness”, but it’s still really silly and not accurate and messes up the state of mind these people need to achieve. They are homeless people. The true client here is the municipality, not the homeless. You could call them guests or residents, but client really doesn’t sit well with me. It makes them feel like they are the customer and are entitled to get something in return for what they gave. They have nothing to give. They are guests. The last thing these people need to feel is entitlement. They are entitled to everything we are, but they are not entitled to get things for free without giving anything in return, just like us. Helping them is done out of kindness, charity, and compassion, not obligation. For example, calling them clients is the same mentality a homeless person has when he or she gets irate when you don’t have change for them. Or even worse, you give them change and then you realize you need a little of the change back because you need bus fare to get home and the homeless person snaps back and says “this is my money. YOU GAVE IT TO ME! Get your own.” Seriously, it’s those type of people that want to be called “clients” and think society is obligated to take care of them, which is a mentality that doesn’t lead to anything with dignity or honor.

  6. Interesting, I was expecting a non-profit to be more compassionate, helpful and have the best interests of those they profess to help at heart. Disheartening to find they are just as spiteful as the people they look down upon. $100 for a substandard cot? Follow the money.

  7. Further proof of two things:

    1-The lefts concern for the homeless is transactional. As long as it benefits the left. Screw the homeless.

    2-Beans deserved to lose the bid.

  8. Not surprising to anyone, not at all. These nonprofits have nothing to do with the indigents (and indigents are not clients!) and everything to do with paying executive directors, sending board members to Juneau, hiring lobbyists, gala fundraising events, growing demand for handouts, and political standing.

  9. Bean’s needs to be careful, as they operate at the discretion of the Muni. Pick an unnecessary fight and they might find APD more interested in homeless spilling out on 3rd Avenue than normal with Bean’s picking up the tab.

    The other thing this does is really trash their credibility with the general public. A lot of us have spent years defending Bean’s from complaints by neighboring businesses and overbearing Muni employees. Why? Mostly because they were a private approach to working the problem. With their actions this week, they demonstrate that they are part of the problem rather than the solution. As such, they just self-selected themselves out of play. Too bad. Cheers –

  10. Homeless bums living off the rest of us like parasites are now “clients” who are “experiencing homelessness.”
    Break it down and open your eyes…the government, the only entity allowed to use force to take your property (yes, money is property), is taking from those who worked for what they have to give to those whose only claim to fame is they screwed their lives totally up.
    It’s straight communism.
    It’s the realization of the Marxist motto: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
    You work and give…they do nothing and receive.
    Americans have gotten so accustomed to having our government take what we’ve earned to pay for someone else’s lifestyle that most don’t even recognize it as communism.
    If you work then you’re a resource to your government and they use your earnings to buy votes from everyone else.
    You’re the horse pulling the wagon full of down-and-outs.
    Get used to it because it’ll get a lot worse before it all collapses.

  11. The other half of socialism is “from each according to his ability”. Difficult to believe that none of the “clients” have any skills that could contribute to the common needs. Maybe time to stop financing unproductive society.

  12. Beans will not get one cent from our family ever again, as well as volunteer time. Liberalism is indeed a disease worse than covid!

  13. The bigger question left unanswered, do we get the Sully back so we can enjoy some good hometown Juniors hockey this winter?

    I’d hate to have to stand around outside at Mulcahey watching hockey while the residence-challenged, alternatively-housed urban outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the warm Sully.

  14. As a leader of a mid-sized organization myself this event, as reported, shows me that neither organization is fit or qualified to manage this operation. It is unfortunate when a transition takes place and the previous management undermines/jeopardizes their replacement but the new organization should have “planned” the transition. Did Bean’s violate any agreed transition procedures? If not, this is on both parties. If Bean’s violated any agreed upon transition process then it should be noted to prevent the organization from any future contracts. Is their mission to serve the homeless or themselves?
    Every transition is a challenge but hope and wishful thinking will not get the job done and tells me neither organization is up to the challenge of helping those in need.
    Look how quick the new organization hired more staff members beyond the contractual agreement to bring “a semblance of order”. Follow the money.

  15. Why did you erase my message? Because I called your article out for being untruthful?!?!
    This article is not true and I have a right to say that. Please get your facts straight before you smear an organization’s name that has worked very hard since 1979.

  16. Despite what “rest of the story” my be, this is a sad testimonial. Reminds me of Clinton to Bush, and Berkowitz/Quinn-Davidson to Bronson transitions. Hopefully it’s not as petulant as it seems.

  17. Sounds like 99 + 1 wasn’t ready to start their contract. It’s their responsibility to be ready on the first day of work.

  18. Sounds like the new contract wasn’t prepared. Typically the new contractor should know what is included and not included in the transfer. Beans has no obligation to turn over anything that isn’t laid out to be turned over.

  19. The party of government controls most of the MSM and SM. They are not interested in helping the homeless (or for that matter any other group, including k-12, Blacks, immigrants, COVID patients and so on), they want to grow their power.

    The last thing they will allow is for Bronson to succeed on the homeless issue.

  20. The MOA is responsible for contracting and managing a smooth transition between old and new contractors. Was enough time and specifics given to both contractors? This type of contract would usually involve months of transition. I’d love to see an article that factually delves into the contracting process and selection process. Missing some big pieces of truth here.

  21. We expect the Municipality of Anchorage will sue Beans Cafe to recover costs of repairing what seems to be deliberate vandalism to city property and restoring the building to city health-code standards.
    From the Better Business Bureau Charity Report, June 30, 2019, we see Beans Cafe financials include total income of $2,827,448 and total assets of $5,806,366, which include $540,281 of “Government support”. (bbb.org/charity-reviews/greatwestpacific/beans-cafe-in-anchorage-ak-22043836)
    Sullivan Arena didn’t turn into Sullivan Cesspool overnight.
    City “code enforcers” allowed this to happen. City “code enforcers”wrecked lives and livelihoods by enforcing China flu hysteria against restaurant owners and patrons, but deliberately allowed Sullivan Arena to deteriorate into a public health and safety threat.
    We request Mayor Bronson to terminate these “code enforcers” and management officials who directed their actions.

  22. What a crock of BS! I worked at Beans Cafe last year. The clients always had drinking water they were able to access showers twice a day for hours each block. There are multiple Porta potty for client use. Why didn’t somebody get pictures of what the facility look like when they left because they do exist. This why no read the paper anymore. Nobody does their research.

  23. They’re bums….not clients. “Clients” usually pay for services rendered. They’ve gotten more than they deserve, throw em out.

  24. Didn’t everyone know that the assembly commies were the shot callers for Bean’s?? I thought this was common knowledge.

  25. So once again, stupid politics gets in the way of providing help to those who are truly in need. Well done Bronson, off to a great start. But then you really don’t care about the homeless, do you, except to make them invisible in some far away corner of the city…

    • This problem s/b handled here as it would be in a third world country. Storing your trash indoors invites a host of other issues needing attn. An example might be whomever got bounced off of a hood last night at NSH and Benson. Undoubtedly a half baked nutbar as that’s the sort of individual that competes for space w/ cars. I don’t think hit and run is ok but who’s going to pay for the bodywork on that vehicle? This is a multifaceted problem and these clowns shouldn’t find an enabler, be it muni or other.
      And they’re not “clients”.

  26. They were farming the homeless and Covid for money.
    If they gave two cents about the homeless why would they do this! ????

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