Survey: Anchorage wants your opinion on homelessness



You’ll never find this survey online because it’s so well hidden, even though it is sponsored by United Way, The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, and the Municipality of Anchorage. Let’s just call it one of the best kept secret surveys of the season.

None of the sponsors has links to the survey from their own web pages, but it has been shared by Anchorage Assemblyman Christopher Constant via Facebook. That’s where we picked it up.

Nevertheless, a few Anchorage residents found the Community Perception of Homelessness in Anchorage survey and spent the 10 minutes filling it out.

The response has been less than glowing. One commenter wrote this to the Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services, which is the owner of the survey:

“I found this survey condescending, manipulative, and not an effective way to achieve the stated goal. Furthermore, it failed to identify or differentiate between causes of homelessness or discuss the need for multiple different solutions to address root causes. Though the introduction says the municipality is looking for feedback and dialogue, the “survey” is just a series of questions that aim to get respondents to identify more with homeless people. While that may be a worthwhile endeavor, it is manipulative not to say so up front and I found it to be a waste of time for people who actually want to provide feedback on solutions to go through that exercise.”

Another added:

“(Name omitted)’s comment nailed it. Truly, if the point was to convince the greater community (as opposed to the municipality and nonprofit sector) to help take responsibility for homelessness in Anchorage, a survey is the wrong format. This is misleading and offensive.”

If the Muni is looking for an opinion on Anchorage homelessness, then Must Read Alaska readers are here to help. Take the survey here:

Community Perceptions on Homelessness Survey

Complete the survey by Nov. 3, 2017.

Do you agree that the survey is condescending and manipulative?



  1. I completely agree. The leading causes of homelessness are substance abuse, mental health issues and childhood trauma. I’m a white, upper-middle-class, well-educated woman with no mental health issues who has never experienced substance abuse or domestic violence. I’m never going to be homeless, and asking people like me what I would want if in that situation leads to privileged white people giving homeless people things they don’t need and that don’t help them. I can’t “identify” with someone that is suffering from those issues, but I can be compassionate and want to help find solutions. They need mental and behavioral health care, medication, substance abuse treatment and education/job skills training. That’s it. It’s not that f—-ing hard. Those are also the types of things that the rest of the community is usually willing to help pay for, because it is not a handout, it’s necessary, and it might actually fix the problem.

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