No one in Anchorage need sleep out in the cold.
Emergency Cold Weather Shelter for Individuals
For the first time this winter, no individuals have to sleep out in the cold.
When the weather started turning cold in this past fall, shelter capacity was exceeded. Many individuals with no place to go were sleeping in tent camps or other places outside in freezing temperatures.
United Way, the Municipality of Anchorage, Bean’s Café, Downtown Soup Kitchen, and Catholic Social Services have been coordinating for the past few months to ensure that no individuals have to sleep out in the cold.
Cold Weather Shelter support for individuals is in addition to the family overnight support available at local churches from October thru May. See below for more information.
Emergency Cold Weather Shelter for Families
This winter we have nine churches opening their doors to house homeless families. Last winter (2017/2018) churches provided 168 shelter nights to 73 families that included 94 children. Without this option, families would be out in the cold – literally.
United Way and our partners are focusing efforts on the Rapid Rehousing of families to get them into stable homes and help them get back on their feet and self-sufficient. Since the beginning of the project, 46 families have been housed and many more are working with case managers to get them out of shelter. (as of early December 2017)
Our vision: No family with children sleeps in an unsafe place during the coldest months of the year.
In 2008, when we realized that there was not enough room at shelters for families with children, United Way of Anchorage reached out to the community to find a solution. Building additional shelter was not viable, nor expedient, and alternative solutions needed to be created.
The faith community generously stepped forward as they had the space and the congregation members willing to volunteer their time to provide safe and warm family sanctuary in the winter months. The municipality worked with the churches to ensure they were up to fire code for overnight stays. AWAIC and Alaska 2-1-1 provided support to callers looking for shelter, directing them to the churches. And an overflow solution was developed. Over the years, United Way has been working with partners to keep Anchorage families safe and warm, and connect them to resources quickly so that they no longer need emergency shelter.
Did you know:
- The devastating impact of homelessness on children may inhibit their physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
- The stress of homelessness on parents may contribute to unemployment, ineffective parenting, and poor health.
- 73 families used emergency cold weather shelter last winter (2017/2018). Those families included 94 children.
This team of dedicated organizations works to keep Anchorage families safe and warm while connecting them to help by:
- Operating the emergency cold weather system
- Providing transportation to shelter
- Connecting families to community resources
AWAIC, Alaska 2-1-1, Anchorage City Church, Anchorage School District – Child in Transition, Catholic Social Services, Central Lutheran Church, Changepoint Alaska, Christian Health Associates, Cornerstone Church, Covenant House, First Covenant Church, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Muldoon Community Assembly, Municipality of Anchorage, NeighborWorks Alaska, Providence Health & Services-In-Home Services, RurAL CAP, The Salvation Army, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church