Zaletel takes job with Homelessness Coalition

Meg Zaletel

The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness has hired Anchorage Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel as interim executive director, effective immediately.

Zaletel currently represents Anchorage Assembly District 4, a midtown area. The group calls her a subject matter expert on fair housing and homelessness. In her role as chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Homelessness, she has been a negotiator on behalf of the Assembly to the Office of the Mayor on issues surrounding homelessness and the mayor’s plan to form up a navigation center to help people get back on their feet. She has been hostile to that concept in favor of her own ideas.

Now, Zaletel will have to recuse herself on the Assembly when it comes to voting on any issues involving homeless policy or appropriations and will step down from her role as chair of the Committee on Housing and Homelessness.

The nonprofit coalition receives local, state, and federal funds, as well as support from private philanthropy. One year ago, a Jeff Bezos foundation, Day 1 Families Fund, awarded the coalition $450,000. Last year, the group had a budget of $1,240,895.

The board at the homeless coalition may be appointing Zaletel as interim for now, in order to allow her to serve the remainder of her term on the Assembly. They may require her to step down from the Assembly, rather than run again, since the Assembly is now spending well over 40 hours a week in meetings, which leaves little time for Assembly members to hold down full-time jobs. This is an indication that she does not intend to run for reelection.

Zaletel’s move to the nonprofit organization was expected; those close to the matter said the organization wanted to wait until the recent special recall election was over; Zaletel won it handily with help from New York funding from a labor union political action committee. That result was certified by the Assembly on Tuesday.

The former director of the homelessness coalition, Jasmine Boyle, resigned in early November to take a position at another nonprofit in Anchorage.

Kathy Henslee has filed for the District 4 Assembly seat; that election is in March and April.


  1. The homeless are HUGE voters. A thimble full of vodka will yield a harvested ballot and a shooter gets you a stack of ten. Zaletel must have raided the OakN Keg to survive her latest recall.

  2. If it gets another lefty off the ASSembly, I’m all for it. There’s big money in homelessness. They help everyone except the actual homeless (contractors, advisors, real estate owners). Follow the money….

  3. Hiring Zaletel strongly suggests that the Homeless Coalition isn’t after Results, only Process. Just another bastion of the non-profit industrial complex. “Grants R us Inc.”
    I used to write grants, so there’s a reasonable chance I may not be that far off base in my assessment.

    • If you actually listened to her talk about the subject during Assembly meetings, you would have noticed her references to the “continuum of care”. This is code for the data-driven process which HUD has imposed on state and local entities throughout the country. Because of this, the name of the game is how well you can cook the data to your advantage. This was most evident in Bean’s Cafe’s operation of the Sullivan Arena, since serious money was at stake. Meanwhile, as I’ve pointed out numerous times, there are plenty of smaller players throughout the community who aren’t about cooking data to justify funding, who aren’t seeking attention from news outlets, but who are producing results and changing people’s lives for the better.
      When the organized camp experiment launched in July 2019, lots of eyes were focused on it during its first month, when it was chiefly a protest against the Dunleavy administration. There was also lots of attention given to it when organizers clashed with APD upon leaving the Park Strip and bouncing from park to park. After they settled at Valley of the Moon, little attention was given to the next three months before the camp disbanded. During that time, community members came down to the park and worked with many of the campers. As a result, a significant number of them moved on to employment and housing, or were reunited with family members who could look after them. Contrast this with what happened at Brother Francis Shelter during the same time frame. People with an income were allowed to take up beds instead of being steered towards housing, forcing people with an actual emergency need for shelter onto the streets on many occasions. People who prey upon the homeless were present in increasing numbers. A lot of folks who needed help were simply strung along until they were eventually kicked out and told to go to the Sullivan for more of the same.
      It’s important to point out this contrast for one simple reason. The Homeless Industrial Complex used the Boise v. Martin decision as leverage to seek funding from the Assembly. The Assembly was all too willing to comply on numerous occasions and the community was all too willing to accept it as business as usual. Camp advocates did what they did on their own dime and their own time. Despite the results they produced, they were told in the end by ACEH allies that their efforts really didn’t matter if they couldn’t translate those results into something which could be parsed by the Homeless Management Information System.

  4. No wonder homelessness explodes in blue cities. It’s just another profit center for the Democratic Party insiders.

  5. Why would you get rid of something (homelessness) that is so profitable? After all it’s only the tax payer and resident who suffers. Not like either of them mean anything to local for-profits.

  6. The article states that Zeletel has been hostile towards the mayor’s ideas of a center that helps the homeless get back on their feet in favor of her own ideas. I’m genuinely curious what her ideas on the subject are. I think either side ought to be able to agree that the homeless issue is a problem and that efforts-to-date have been ineffective regardless of administration.

    • I was a full-time volunteer at Brother Francis Shelter for close to 15 months. When a new client entered the shelter, the only one-on-one attention they were guaranteed to receive was for the purpose of entering their data into the Homeless Management Information System. Case management favored certain people and everyone else were left to languish. I met multiple people who openly spoke of being there in the neighborhood of 10-12 years. In late 2019, there was talk of switching to an engagement-based approach, where anyone desiring services would be required to participate in case management and develop a plan to transition off the streets. Somewhere along the way, the pandemic made it easy for people to completely forget all about this idea. Engagement gave way to “navigation”, where services were available if you felt like it. Several months ago, Alaska Public Media published a story stating that participation in navigation services at the Sullivan was only 25 percent. The Sully became another place where people were left to languish, one far more expensive to operate than BFS. Some weeks ago, I participated in a Zoom meeting with Dr. Morris in which he stated that the plan was once again to tie services to case management. With his resignation, it’s difficult for me to say where things are headed. My interactions with Meg Zaletel didn’t provide me insight into that which you ask about. However, I think it’s safe to say that the political battle is rooted in the differences in approach I refer to here.

  7. Has a position in government to funnel money to special interests. Takes job with one of those special interests. Follow the money.

    Kinda like executives going from the FDA to Pfizer.

    Zaletel could do more for the homeless if she just worked in a soup kitchen serving food. Being an admin will only lead to more money being spent the wrong way, just like what she does with our city.

  8. As if the Homeless didn’t have enough problems! Would she be willing to open up her own home to people who need a roof and a meal or doesn’t that fit with her Woke Politics??

  9. Oh this is rich “The group calls her a subject matter expert on fair housing and homelessness”. The leftist control of Anchorage politics has caused the deterioration, it cannot be denied, it is literally “in your face”.. Year after year committees are set up and millions are spent yet homelessness has continued it’s upward trajectory and the overall quality of Anchorage circles closer to the drain. The rot and incompetence within the Anchorage political arena has to be cleaned out or the trajectory continues.

  10. VICTIM INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX – Collusion between Government, Non-profits , Corporations and Leftist media to create victimhood for groups so that money can be gained by “helping” these same falsely manufactured groups.

  11. Homelessness is big business. That’s why it will never go away. Locally many organizations receive a lot of funding for services for the homeless. It’s like an apple pie issue. No one will state that they don’t have compassion. Therefore services will always be needed, organizations will always plea for funding the public will bow down and give in to it. Those same organizations will lobby for more funding and the cycle goes on. It’s no wonder that Meg has jumped on the band wagon to get her share.

  12. she would never be separated from the assembly centered discussion on homelessness so recusal is a illlegitimate solution. Let’s hope this is a way to get her off the assembly and that she isn’t replaced by a clone.

  13. I, for one, FULLY support this hiring of Meg Zaletel as interim executive director of The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, and salute her fully committed action so as to live as one of those experiencing living without a home for the entire winter with those that she so fervently supports!!!

    Wait, what? She is not going to share their experience?

    OK, OK…I FULLY support this hiring of Meg Zaletel as interim executive director of The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, and salute her fully committed action so as to take a variety of those that experience living without a home into her own home so as to support them fully!!!

    Really? No? She is not going to do that either?


    AH! I got it!!! .I FULLY support this hiring of Meg Zaletel as interim executive director of The Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness, and salute her fully committed action so as to take full responsibility, as a comfortably housed individual, to tithe at least 20% of her personal income unto the rental support of any given individual or family that is currently experiencing the lack of a home!!!

    Good for her!!!!

    What? No? Really?

    Then what the hell good is she within said position?

    Lead by example, Meg, not edict, of which you have no understanding of…

    Many, many of us give much through donations, both financially and within needed household goods, from our personal bank accounts and our personally owned items…not because of some politically charged edict, but because it is something that we wish to share with those less fortunate than ourselves, by choice, not by edict, nor politically charged ideology…

    That is the problem with you, Meg, and those like you, that so demand a certain mindset within Governmental control, and do nothing constructive, whilst the rest of us simply do what we believe is the right thing to do, without Governmental control….

    You, Meg, are a worthless shill within the nothing of Governmental control, whilst we, the citizenry that actually helps others that need said help, are what you speak incessantly about, yet can not help, no matter your message, nor expense, because your method is unattainable due unto your methodology and ideology…..

    • “…your method is unattainable due unto your methodology and ideology…..”
      Precisely! Exactly! Nailed it! Pulled their covers!

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