ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
Anchorage Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel wants to spend about $2.4 million for a new round-the-clock homeless shelter for about 150 in Midtown.
The money would come from $250,000 in existing Anchorage Health Department funds and a budget cut of less than 1 percent across all city departments except for “depreciation, debt service, the Anchorage Police Department and the Anchorage Fire Department,” her proposal says.
The proposed shelter would be separate from the Brother Francis Shelter, also with a capacity of up to 150 people. Which lucky neighborhood would get the honor of hosting the new shelter is unspecified.
That brings up questions. With the homeless population in Anchorage on the rise and with spending on the homeless also climbing, you have to wonder: How much money will be enough – $2 million, $20 million, $60 million? Where will it end? To an average citizen it appears that the more we spend, the more homelessness we get.
Too many, the city’s homelessness funding is looking a lot like education spending. When the education industry is asked how much it needs to fix its problems, the answer is always and emphatically “more.”
It appears those who see more and more funding as the answer to the city’s homelessness problem have learned well.