Cold weather ramps up search for more beds for homeless

Published: Nov. 30, 2016 at 9:32 PM AKST
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Anchorage’s Housing and Homeless Services Coordinator says additional emergency shelter capacity for the homeless may be available as early as this weekend.

“We ramped up our conversations with Beans Café very quickly and we’re hoping to bring that resource on as quickly as possible this weekend,” said Nancy Burke. She says around 600 people need housing each night.

With temperatures in the single digits the Brother Francis Shelter has been reaching capacity as early as 4 p.m.

“Really it means that number 281 when they’re looking to check in are unfortunately, we have to turn them away. There is nowhere else in Anchorage for them to go,” said shelter Program Director Lisa Caldeira.

The arrangement with Bean’s Café would be temporary, according to Burke, with a capacity of 50 instead of the 124 from last winter.

“We want the permanent solution to be the one that we peruse,” said Burke.