Organizations team up to help residents at Centennial Park campground
Homeless solutions looked at on case-by-case basis
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Over the past five years, Jimmie Hartley has battled homelessness as he jumped around from place to place crafting temporary homes. His new home this summer is at the Centennial Park campground — a location that he said has been a game changer.
“Starting this year, I can get clean. I got a toilet. I can get drinking water. I have a space on a good, dry driveway,” Hartley said.
Hartley joins roughly 142 other people who are using the campground as a home this summer, according to the Salvation Army.
“The overall goal is to get people in permanent housing,” Allen Young said. “And get the treatment and services they need to succeed in their lives.”
As of Monday, organizations have been able to start relocating a portion of the residents at Centennial Park. The Salvation Army reported that 34 people, including four families, were moved into family shelters and other permanent housing solutions.
There are no more children located at the campsite, according to Young. In addition, other members of the population were relocated with family members, and 10 people were placed into workforce development programs conducted by Beans Café.
Organizations working with individuals on the campground said that each person at Centennial has a different story regarding their struggles with homelessness.
When looking for a solution, organizations look at each person’s journey with homelessness as a case-by-case scenario as they try and determine the best option to support them — that’s when support from a large variety of organizations comes into play.
“It’s really just helping to navigate and plan out when providers will be here on site and making sure that we are not on top of one another, we are not double duplicating services, but we’re really here to help the people that are residing here in Centennial,” said Anchorage Social Services Director for the Salvation Army of Alaska Denice Delgado.
They have been able to provide residents at Centennial three meals a day through Beans Café, and donations such as socks for residents on the campground.
“We don’t deserve it. I praise everyone. I tease people and look at them and say, ‘Where are your wings, honey,’ Hartley said.
Those interested in supporting those at Centennial Park may reach out to the Salvation Army to see a list of items needed for donation or sign up for a volunteer slot. They can find more information on their website. In addition, they can donate to Beans Café.
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