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End the Year With Cheer: Helping homeless families find permanent housing

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 8:57 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Clare House is an emergency shelter, run by Catholic Social Services, for women with children, along with expectant mothers. They are families in need of shelter and basic services.

“Desperation is a realistic term,” says Clare House Case Manager Ian Colbert. “Generally, when a family is doing an intake into Clare House, they are in emergency mode, so they are living day to day.”

Colbert says the mission is to treat everyone with autonomy and dignity. He says for many, it’s the first time they realize there are people out there who care.

“Many of our participants are coming from unsafe or just truly unstable situations where they do not have the ability, very understandably, to think about the future,” Colbert says.

Clare House focuses on fulfilling those immediate needs, like shelter and food, and provides steps forward by assisting with a range of issues, from childcare to the adult’s education and employment.

As part of Alaska’s News Source month-long project “End the Year With Cheer,” we are working on a way to lessen the burden on these families and the shelter.

This joint effort is a way to pitch in to help the families reach their goal of independence, and you don’t even have to leave your home.

There is now an extended Amazon Wish List registry to include items for household kits and supplies they will need for the next step of permanent housing.

The items range from $5 and up. Anyone interested in helping out has options at all levels. Every little bit will help chip away at this ongoing need and toward independence.

If you include “Alaska’s News Source” in the gift card message memo, we can see how much we collect together.

As Colbert says, it’s about providing immediate needs and then pointing them in the right direction.

“We help them find their own path into a meaningful and sustainable future where they will never have to be homeless again.”

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