‘Spread-out-the-homeless plan’ to be discussed by Assembly on Tuesday

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Assemblyman Felix Rivera and his Sanctioned Camp Community Task Force will present recommendations to the Anchorage Assembly for establishing various homeless camps around the city of Anchorage. The Assembly will consider a Resolution on the plan:

District 1, North Anchorage | Vacant Land that was formerly Viking Drive from Reeve Blvd. to Commercial Dr.
Total capacity: 50 to 75 individuals
Start date: May 31, 2023
Closure date: August 1, 2023
Structure: Tents
Population: Single adults
Model: Low barrier

District 3, West Anchorage | Clitheroe Center
Total capacity: 30 to 40 individuals
Start date: May 31, 2023
Closure date: September 1, 2024
Structure: Cars and tents
Population: Single adults
Model: Dry, i.e. non-substance use

District 4, Midtown | 40th and Denali, i.e. National Archives site
Total capacity: 50 to 75 individuals
Start date: June 19, 2023
Closure date: September 1, 2024
Structure: Tents; transition to Pallet Shelters and tiny homes
Population: Single adults
Model: Low barrier

District 5, East Anchorage | Centennial Park Campground
Total capacity: 50 to 75 individuals
Start date: May 31, 2023
Closure date: September 4, 2023
Structure: Tents limited only to established campsites
Population: Single adults
Model: Low barrier with structured supports; transition to an intentional camp

District 6, South Anchorage | 1805 Academy Drive
Total capacity: 20 to 40 individuals
Start date: May 31, 2023
Closure date: Year-round operation until such time as the building can no longer be occupied
Structure: ASD relocatable buildings and rooms in the building
Population: Current population staying at the Sullivan Arena
Model: Low barrier with structured supports

Rivera said that each camp will have will have a designated operator to assist with management and ensure all minimum standards and service needs are met. The Anchorage Health Department staff will be responsible for oversight of all contracted operators.

The operators will be responsible for engaging with nearby community councils and securing a Good Neighbor Agreement, Rivera said. There will also be a designated staff member within the Anchorage Health Department which community members can contact with concerns. Once selected, the contact information for that designated staff member will be published on the Anchorage Health Department website.

The Sanctioned Camps Task Force, created in April by the Assembly,​ was tasked with evaluating and presenting recommendations to the Anchorage Assembly and Municipal Administration on the feasibility of sheltering community options, including sanctioned camps, pallet shelters, modular buildings and relocatable temporary buildings. The task force will continue to work on identifying mid-to-long term recommendations before July 6, 2023.

In addition to the sanctioned homeless encampment plan, the Assembly will likely approve Resolution No. AR 2023-169, appropriating $757,500 as a transfer from the 2023 Maintenance and Operations Department Operating Budget, Areawide General Fund to the Areawide Capital Improvement Projects Fund for the Golden Lion hotel, to cover the repair costs to make it function as a rooming facility for homeless.

The Golden Lion hotel was purchased by former Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to create a drug treatment center, but has run into substantial community resistance.

65 COMMENTS

  1. Over 90% of these individuals are substance abusers or mentally challenged. If you keep providing services for these people, you are encouraged them to stay the course. Anchorage refuses to define “homeless”, you cannot fix a problem if you don’t understand it. That being said, may I recommend that these shelters be located in the assembly members neighborhoods. ?

    • The ones with mental problems know first hand how big a disadvantage they have as it’s like a disease and many have it at no fault of there own. Survival for them is a challenge.
      The ones that make fun of it are likely to be a shard off themselves.

    • “…….Anchorage refuses to define “homeless”……….”
      Actually, they’re trying desperately to use the definition ‘homeless’ to redefine “defiant”, “hopeless”, “addicted”, and “psychotic”. The term ‘homeless’ is used to elicit sympathy and guilt from the taxpayer while the true disorders are fostered and allowed to grow.
      Prediction: These ‘camps’ will fail to concentrate the ‘homeless’ during summer unless the residents are allowed to misbehave as they please. They’ll just go find a quiet patch of woods to camp in where they can do whatever without interference. Come winter, the city will have to provide warm arrangements to keep these people alive while they sleep off their stupor.

      • Well stated, Reggie. Words have power. And when we use the “designated” words, often without realizing it, half the battle has been lost. Remember, war is peace.

      • How about houseless ! Homeless is a euphemistic term from the creators of this problem . They choose to live on the streets . Put them in drug/alcohol treatment or phych ward . Or just send them back to the village they came from .

        I find the bigger the city government the bigger the house less problem is in America . While government employees administrate these monies they get from not enforcing basic laws . Now let’s create a shell game and just move them around the city ! How big is the “homeless “population in Eagle River , Palmer or Willow? My guess is very small as they have small governments !

        Even some of the lame brain bureaucrats in SF are connecting the dots of size of govt and problem . SF got $2B in federal funding to “curb “ houseless population during C-19 , Guess what , curb to sidewalk , population nearly doubled in three years and they can’t find where the money went ?

  2. Remember the promise of a chicken in every pot? This is gonna be a derelict in every yard.

  3. How about getting their addicted and lazy a—s off anybody else’s property? How about enforcing the laws against theft and public intoxication? How about busing drug users and dealers? Why do we keep paying for these no-account shiftless folks to continue to misbehave? And by spreading them out, the “task force” just gets them out of downtown, where, horror of horrors, tourists might see them. And puts them right into neighborhood with kids of people who actually pay taxes and should expect better.

    For those who have fetal alcohol syndrome, get them care at the Native hospital. We already paid for that. For the bums, time to go home.

    • Yup. Behind everyone holding a sign on a street corner is a business with a “Now Hiring” sign in the window. Hiring bonuses being offered. I’m curious why the Libs seem to be against hospitalization for those with mental disorders who shouldn’t be on the street.

      • The “libs” are not against hospitalization for those with mental disorders.

        The issue lies with funding for API and other mental institutions in this state. Gov Dunleavy and governors before him (both rep and dem) have all cut funding to API and mental health treatment in this state for the past 20 years or more.

        You can’t hospitalize people if there are not enough beds/rooms in the treatment facilities. Where do you put them and who treats them?

        Have you looked into getting treatment for someone at API? Good luck getting someone in there for treatment who wants it, let alone forcing someone to get treatment. They are so backed up, you may wait six months or more.

      • Or why they’re seemingly okay with banishment practices for native villages but not for Anchorage…

  4. Significant and Excessive … “free” tax-payer-funded services should be taxed accordingly as “income” to those receiving the benefits and us property tax-payers shouldn’t be on-the-hook for these costs.

    • It would be creeper and more humane as the weather is better and they get more benefits. This is a good solution to a complex problem.

  5. Call me inhumane, but the sooner the assembly comes to the realization that this homeless problem can’t be fixed. A majority of these people choose to live like this.
    I would rather spend the money with enforcing the laws on the books. Put these people in jail. There are consequences for this homeless lifestyle that most of these people choose to live.
    There are systems in place to help the homeless that truly want to get out of this lifestyle. But they have to make the 1st step. Until that happens they are just throwing good money at bad.

    • Yes sadly that’s true. But we don’t have to cater to and enable their lifestyles. As for the mentally ill, getting rid of involuntary committing for people who really need it back in the 60’s had terrible consequences. Even if we diverted all the money that was wasted on Ukraine to getting back institutions, the ACLU and activist judges would be there to stop it.

  6. Sounds like camps too hide our homeless from the public eye! See know sin, hear know sin! Speak no sin! Clean a sin up that you can’t deal with? Fact is, it’s gotten so bad in the years and years of this liberal city! Bronson actually had a great idea! One center, one parcel of land! Transfer center! Bring it in and have one place for all too get the help they need!

  7. How cool is this? Anchorage has 6 brand-new addresses where dozens, if not hundreds, of bums and illegal aliens can be registered to vote, helped to vote, even have their ballots mailed for them if they’re short of cash for stamps, all at taxpayer expense and, best of all, there’s not a damned thing taxpayers can do about it.
    .
    Kudos to somebody for the epic, perfect crime.

  8. You do you, and
    the church here will learn (or relearn if churches made sunday about anything except God.) how to share and teach the gospel better.

    • Facilities like The Gospel Rescue Mission and The Downtown Hope Center, funded in large part by churches, do quite a bit to share Christ’s love to these people. But, is it “loving” Jen to remove their will to work and provide for themselves by giving them absolutely EVERYTHING for the sake of making yourself feel better? You and the assembly are loving them to death.

  9. sounds very expensive, pretty ez to spend other peoples money. watch out for our home appraisals to jump 10-20% next year so felix and the gang can create a bunch of cush city jobs to hand out to their friends and family.
    makes to much sense to give them a place like artic valley central location out of the way were they can drink and do their drugs without bothering the tax base that supports them

  10. The villages dont want them back because banishment is a form of punishment used for centuries against people who violate others in the village. For several decades now I have had conversations with people from the villages that talk about people that victimized other families and they were actually shunned to the point they could no longer be seen in the village. So they just go to Anchorage and live on the streets and panhandle to get by and abuse alcohol to deal with their past violations knowing they can never return to their village. So it becomes a local problem that is impossible to remedy because of their past they have no desire to work or become an asset to the community. They will burden the system until the day they die either on the street or the nearby woods.

  11. Buy them one-way tickets to California or Hawaii. This would probably be cheaper than any of these other wastes of tax dollars.

    • Many cities realized that one-way Greyhound bus tickets were very cheap when the Portland City council announced that they were the city of love and welcomed all in need, even the homeless eight years ago. So tolerant. And we now see the consequences of “noble” tolerance.
      And other cities got to clean up their streets a bit for the price of a bus ticket.

      • This practice has been going on forever. In the 70’s, major Midwest cities were giving one-way bus tickets and food vouchers to any bum or minor criminal who wanted to escape to Minneapolis Minnesota for all the extravagant and “compassionate” freebies the city offered. Take a drive now through that cesspool of a city to see the end result. Jesus said to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. But he also warned repeatedly about enabling bad behavior. See the results of doing so all around us. Time for tough love.

  12. This is a plan to enrich the “operators” of the human dumping yards these assembly members wish to create. In no way is this idiotic plan less expensive or more practical than the Elmore road project would be.

  13. SPREAD OUT THE HOMELESS PLAN or….
    Coming to your neighborhood soon and there’s nothing you can do about it plan!!!

    • There is something that can be done, but will anyone commit to doing it?
      .
      Personally, if I see a homeless person within a mile of my house, I will pick them up, and deliver them to my Assembly Member’s house. If taking care of the homeless is so important, they can start doing so in their neighborhood first.

  14. Although Bronson’s plan of centralizing rather than spreading it all out was shot down immediately by the assembly, mostly because it was Bronson, it sure seems a more clever assembly member would have said, “Heck! Let’s let his plan go, condemn it, fight it, defund it half way through (naturally), and let it fail. Then we could blame him for….well, everything!”
    But even that concession was a bridge too far. They shot it down from the first paragraph. And many of these foolish members were re-elected! What fools do we have voting in this town?

  15. Welcome to Anchorage where there is a bandaid on every street corner, the democratic approach to societal ills.

    • Leftists will never use their own money or time to address problems. They are extremely good at spending other people’s money and time.

  16. First of all its not like the Mayor was sitting on his hands and didnt do his homework and come up with a sensible and humane solution to the situation. The ignorant members of the Assembly who want to make money on the homeless are just as greedy as the Mexican Cartels.

    Its only fair to set up homeless camps in the districts that elected the clowns that are supporting this public s**tshow. As a matter of fact they should be using any yard space to set up as many tents possible outside the homes of these same clowns as a symbol of what they support. The people who voted for the idiotic assembly should have to bear more of the cost and responsibility of these stupid solutions just the same as all the illegal migrants the democrats have invited into our nation illegally. If the Democrats want it they should be forced to pay for it.

    They didnt waste ANY time shipping them the hell out of Martha’s Vineyard! Stupid is as Stupid does Brandon! We definitely wont have any of this crap near Berkys Mansion!

    • Every district, except Eagle River, voted for this lame assembly.
      They were voted in in a landslide, wasn’t even close.
      So every part of ANC deserves this ….imo.

  17. Had the politicians not destroyed the old Native Hospital, it would have been a perfect place. Medical Facilities, cafeteria/kitchen, rooms, plus a large area for temporary housing and tents.

  18. Meanwhile, the municipality is busy shutting down mobile home parks that don’t meet current standards, adding to the problem. The working poor will have no place to live. Their solution is high density prefab 800 sf homes at 400,000 apiece. Brilliant.

  19. Considering that Meg Zaletel is the executive director of Anchorage Coalition for Homeless earning a handsome six figure salary who is also making decisions as an Assembly member(another 60K) why on earth would she want the homeless issue to go away? That would end her highest paying job. The Homeless numbers have multiplied rapidly in the past ten years. She has become the “expert” at growing the numbers instead of reducing them. She should be paid on a performance based salary which in her case she would be owing the taxpayers a huge sum of money based on the lack of performance. I am guessing she is being rewarded for the increase in numbers. Doesnt anybody question the “work” she is doing? Where are her supporters or is it just the clerk counting the votes?

  20. Centennial Park Campground used to be, about 20 years ago a destination for folks that were visiting Alaska. You know, a place for people to park their RV and/or tents. These folks would go around the community exploring and spending money. Now, it’s been downgraded to a homeless camp. Is this the progress that progressives love to see?

  21. All this rigmarole, to dance around the fact that our clown assembly shot down the best idea.
    A central Nav Center, built on land we already own, on a major bus route (Tudor) across from a hospital & next to our VERY large, now underused, old police station. We could house everyone, direct them to more permanent solutions as they become available & incorporate the old cop shop into the mix going forward.
    BUT it was Bronson’s plan, so these nincompoops said no. YOU DESERVE THIS MISERY ANC.

  22. From the comments it appears to me the No Plan Assembly will only make homeless worse and encourage more homeless. Can’t wait til millionaire Mark Begich and his LLC’s build a new downtown Anchorage. Businesses doorways will be filled with the homeless. In my opinion, Rivera and his Assembly couldn’t solve a problem if it slapped him in the face.. however, they will make money for their back pockets pretending to do so for the good of the Homeless. Hang on to your back pockets Anchorage Taxpayers as you are going for a long ride.

  23. Hahahaha the academy drive site is right by R&M, hey Frank rast, you happy they aren’t at that “tent in the woods” you harped about so much? Mmmmmm must be nice knowing the building you spent so much of your life in is now going to be littered with human feces, needles, empty alcohol bottles and passed out derelicts. Oh well.
    I gotta say I love this plan, “let’s screw everyone…..not just the communities by the shelters. The areas by the shelters are getting too gross and dangerous.”
    I remember many livers MRAK readers bemoaning the centennial park camp ground as “cruel and inhumane” but now that Felix says it, it’s all good. Hypocrites.

  24. Have you figured out the homeless have more clout and are more important than taxpayers?

    Want to see this come to an end? Send the homeless to Hillside. The rich liberals will NIMBY this crap out of existence.

    Which is why they are gonna be sent to live amongst the serfs.

    • The problem with Rich Liberals is they will not change their stance until after they suffer the consequences. The homeless will destroy the rich neighborhoods of the hillside before the liberals realize what an awful idea it is.
      The biggest problem is that the rational adults will have to suffer before the children… errr… I mean liberals will see the error of their ways.

  25. As long as humans exist there will be no end to ‘homelessness’. There will always be a small percentage of the population that will move itself outside the normal bounds of society. Some will do this because of lack of money and some will do this because of mental illness. BUT! How each person reacts, should be how they are prioritized for any type of public aid. Mental health issues? Immediate screening and, if necessary, commitment to the proper treatment facilities. If a minor or a parent with a minor, immediate shelter and hand off to local programs that will get the kids back into school and help the parent with employment. ANYONE else should have the door slammed in their faces. There are existing programs (sometimes many of them) that are available to adults that are looking to get ‘back on their feet’. Most times these programs are available just by asking. Since money/funding is always tight, the existing funds need to be directed to the most vulnerable such as children and the mentally ill. Anyone choosing to be homeless and anyone that cannot follow the rules, such as show up for appointments and show up sober, simply gets tossed out and barred from public assistance. Why waste money and time on a person who has no intention of getting out of homelessness? Hopefully when they get cold and tired enough they straighten out. If not, then the lack of aid incentivizes them to move on and away from our local communities. Sorry, but life really is tough.

    • While I agree wholeheartedly with what you wrote, it has almost zero chance of actually happening.
      Not because there is anything wrong with it, but because the children are in charge, not rational adults. Let’s use one or two items as illustrations:
      1. “How each person reacts, should be how they are prioritized for any type of public aid.”
      Nope. The liberals will insist that everyone get treated equally. Does not matter why you are out on the streets, everyone MUST be treated as if they are just a decent job away from living indoors again.
      2. “ANYONE else should have the door slammed in their faces.”
      Nope. The homeless industrial complex will ensure that never happens. Too much money to be made. And, since the leftists on the Assembly (both here and across the nation) are benefitting from the “consultants” they are not likely to ignore anyone.
      Also… if we slam the door in their face, they might die.
      3. “Anyone choosing to be homeless and anyone that cannot follow the rules,…”
      The leftists have already demonstrated that will never happen. How many wet shelters do we have here in ANC alone? And, does anyone actually think these tent cities will be drug and drink free?
      .
      There is, in my opinion, no better incentive to clean yourself up than hunger, cold, and uncomfortable.

  26. These folks are not just native (I see lots of comments about the villages). The majority of these people are mentally ill, have a severe substance abuse problem, or both. Putting them in a tent village with some contracted “case worker” does nothing for them. We need to address the root condition and the human heart. We need to change laws to allow for involuntary committal to a psychiatric facility or rehab facility. Finances need to be invested in these places. Giving people tiny homes or campgrounds solves nothing. This is an inhumane and callous way to deal with people. Let’s actually try and treat people with dignity. They may seem worthless to the general public, and clearly to our assembly, but they are still image bearers of God. Imagine that.

  27. What came out of the meeting? Oh, wait. Not necessary to report on it. We all know what happened.
    .
    The Assembly ignored all the testimony that disagreed with the plan. And, if there was anyone who was making a valid point, the “technical issues” happened. I would not be surprised if the Assembly had the police empty the room.
    .
    How many times was the word “dilatory” used by the Assembly leftists?

  28. The city already owns 2 hotels and has an empty school to use. Who actually profited from the sale of the hotels? The school alone could handle a lot of those homeless, has bathrooms, kitchen and lots of empty rooms!!

    • “Who actually profited from the sale of the hotels?”
      If I remember correctly, one of them was owned by Mark Begich. And, I am pretty sure the other one has him as an investor…

  29. The local ‘overseers’ of the Homeless Industrial Complex, i.e., the Anchorage Assembly, most especially Zaletel and Constant, with Rivera a pathetic Wana bee, is thus.

    These ‘overseers’ do NOT, under any circumstances, wish ‘their’ homeless to achieve any form of self-sufficiency.

    They wish only for said same to be completely reliant upon Governmental provided sufficiency so as to keep said individuals under their control, all the while padding their own bank accounts, whilst keeping their homeless ‘constituents’ at the very lowest levels of survival that they may attain, yet still reliant upon their taxpayer paid for provisions.

    It is nothing but a skin game to these ‘overseers’, whereas they become wealthy upon the lives of those they falsely claim to represent and support.

    They follow within the failed policies of Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco, and within the same reasoning.

    The homeless are worth money.

    Not for the homeless themselves, as they mean nothing to the ‘overseers’ as individuals.

    But as a pathway to wealth for themselves, at the expense of the very group they claim to support and represent, as the more of them, the homeless, the greater the wealth for themselves.

    There are words for those who engage within such behavior.

    None of them are polite.

  30. I’m not so sure about that. I was in Kake a few years ago, and the Chief banished 2 young men for meth possession. Promptly put them on a Navaho to Juneau with the clothes on their backs and a small gym bag.

  31. Has anyone gone down to the main road towards Elmendorf and seen the camps on either side of the road? There is squander and garbage at each site which I feel certain that is the same at the Sullivan Arena. Quit splintering all the camps. Offer housing and job assistance, but only to the ones that can and will work.Send all others back to their place of origin if they will take them. And- we don’t need any illegals either.

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