Covenant House Alaska building housing complex for young adults
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Once youth have aged out to the Covenant House Alaska shelter, they have to find additional housing. A new program called “Bridge to Success” will help young people transition into that additional housing.
Covenant House Alaska, in partnership with Cook Inlet Housing Authority, wants it to be easier for a young person to go from shelter to apartment living.
The new three-story, 10,000-square-foot complex will sit at the corner of East 8th Avenue and Barrow Street in downtown Anchorage. The complex will have 22 units for young adults aged 18 to 24. The micro-unit apartments will be complete with a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedroom.
”I’m extremely excited about today. It is an amazing day, and the next best day will be when 22 young people move into that building next door,” said Carol Gore, president and CEO at Cook Inlet Housing Authority.
And once the building is finished, young adults will have a place to lay their heads, to make the smooth transition from the main building which is just next door.
At the groundbreaking event on Tuesday, Gore talked about homelessness and how the complex is about more than just housing.
“For me, today is not about the building,” she said. “It’s about the people, the young adult, our future leaders, and the opportunity this housing development provides for stability, which allows them to obtain their dreams of healing, safety, health, education, and career goals.”
Tobias Lazar is one of the people who spoke at the groundbreaking event. Lazar at one point in his life lived at the Covenant House Alaska for six months. Now he is not only a former resident, he is also the manager at the cafe located in organization.
“In that time (while living at Covenant House Alaska), the thing that has been most important to me and most impactful, isn’t anything in Covenant House’s mission statement, or the handbook, or the written on paper stuff,” Lazar said. “It’s everything above and beyond that, and the relationships I’ve had with the staff and the people.”
As of January 2020, Alaska had almost 2,000 people who were experiencing homelessness on any given day, according to the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Of those, 160 were family households and 188 were young adults age 18 to 24.
While living in the micro-unit apartments, the residents will still have access to programs Covenant House Alaska provides, like job internships, healthcare, counseling and other opportunities.
With the new housing, Covenant House Alaska hopes to bridge the gap between their shelter and independent living.
Construction on the complex is expected to start this week and be completed by the end of 2022.
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