Anchorage Wolverines, Bean’s Cafe push for shelter solution
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage Wolverines hockey team and Bean’s Cafe have teamed up to encourage the Anchorage Assembly and Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration to find more stable housing for those in need.
Currently, the Sullivan Arena is being used as a homeless shelter and is expected to remain that way unless alternate plans are made for the upcoming winter months. This fact has sparked an issue because the arena is supposed to be the home for the hockey team when its first season starts up.
On Tuesday, hockey players read letters to the assembly, to let them know just how important it is for the team and the community that the Sullivan Arena be returned to its original use.
“It’s great and all but, you know, it’s time to open up again and get the entertainment aspect back into it,” said hockey player Christian King. “It was good for COVID but we all need that camaraderie again and come back to the Sullivan.”
The only way that can happen is if the people currently being housed at the Sullivan Arena have an alternate, long-term place to live.
“As a community, we’re really hoping that we can find someplace for them to be and someplace more sustainable than the rink,” hockey player Clay Allen said. “Growing up it wasn’t always a homeless shelter, so if we can find some other solution for them to be able to be OK and be safe, that’s going to be a lot better for us. Then everyone can be happy.”
Bean’s Cafe, a shelter and homelessness services provider, and the Anchorage Wolverines say this is not a “Hockey vs. Homeless” issue, but more a push to get housing for the city’s homeless population and hockey back to the community this year.
On Tuesday, the assembly passed a resolution that commits it to using a facilitator to come to an agreement with the city administration on a short and long-term solution to housing the city’s homeless population. The deadline to engage a facilitator is Aug. 1, according to the resolution they passed.
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