Homelessness is an increasing problem all over the United States, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a severe rise in foreclosures and evictions. But homelessness is a major problem, affecting over half a million people in the United States, with some portion of those people having no shelter whatsoever. For many people experiencing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, they may be experiencing hardship for the first time, and finding help might be confusing and stressful. The Alaska Housing Financial Corporation has awarded an $860,000 grant to prevent more Alaskans from experiencing homelessness issues from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four organizations will share this $860,000 grant, with the grant being split equally between the organizations.
- The Glory Hall
- This organization provides a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, mental health counseling, social services referrals, and transportation for those needing help.
- Gastineau Human Services Corporation
- GHSC provides behavioral health services to those seeking help with addiction, transitional housing services for those looking to live a sober lifestyle, as well as re-entry programs for people who are criminally involved looking for a second chance.
- Family Promise of Juneau
- This organization provides a host of housing services, including emergency housing, income-based housing, and others. Family Promise can also help with gaining access to public services and job-seeking assistance.
- The Alaska Housing Development
- This is a nonprofit that acts as a Community Housing Development Organization, which allows for home purchasing opportunities for low-income individuals and families
This grant award is part of the federal coronavirus recovery fund emergency solutions grant aimed at helping individuals and families experiencing homelessness or serious loss of income due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Alaska Housing Financial Corporation spokesperson Stacy Barnes said that for many of the people who would be receiving assistance – this would be the first time they had ever really experienced hardship and had never had to apply for any kind of similar help before.
According to Barnes, Across Alaska, the average income loss by applicants who applied for rent or mortgage assistance was about $22,000, which can be absolutely devastating for families who were already struggling even before the pandemic hit so many so hard.
Glory Hall Executive Director Mariya Lovishchuk spoke on what the grant funding would go towards specifically, saying:
The money will help go towards helping with the increased staffing, rental of the extra space, and the appropriate (personal protective equipment) for staff, as well as cleaning supplies. All the things we need to operate during COVID for two different buildings.
Find grants to combat homelessness here.