Task force looking into possible private land option for sanctioned homeless camps

The Sanctioned Camps Community Task Force met on Sunday to determine possible locations for sanctioned homeless camps.
Published: May. 22, 2023 at 8:47 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Several members of the Anchorage Municipality’s Sanctioned Camps Community Task Force met Sunday afternoon to discuss possible locations for sanctioned camps for those who are homeless.

The task force plans on meeting again as a whole on Monday to determine which sites to propose before giving its recommendations to the Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday.

“Some of the task force members met this weekend, so it can meet those needs effectively by May 31, and there are some longer-term recommendations that we’ll come up with,” task force member Caroline Storm said.

The task force is considering options that have been presented by both the municipality as well as private property owners that could be used as temporary camp locations.

Storm said private land is being considered due to a lack of vacant properties that the municipality owns.

“We’ll be asking other landowners to at least consider housing a sanctioned camp, temporarily, mostly for the summer,” Storm said.

Storm also said the task force will be looking into the possibility of camps becoming more long-term, if possible.

While no camps have been established yet, the task force is planning on equipping them with basic sanitation services, including potable water and portable toilets as a minimum.

One of the sites the task force is considering has a structure in place; additional options include the possibility of including more permanent structures in mini shelters to house people over the winter.

“We’re working with a number of (300) to 700 unhoused people right now,” Storm said. “We’re evaluating an immediate needs size to accommodate 300 people.”

Storm said the possibility of hosting more than 300 people relies on the outcome of private property owners providing space for a sanctioned camp.