Homelessness figures stay static but there is cause for hope
Homelessness figures for Anchorage have stayed relatively static, since this time last year, says Lisa Aquino, the Board Chair of the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness.
Aquino says staying "statistically even" is a cause for excitement "considering the economy and the job market and the housing market."
Aquino puts the coalition's success down to mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s commitment to the issue, public interest and an evidence-based model.
Part of that model is a point-in-time-count, where all the people experiencing homelessness in Anchorage are counted in a single 24-hour period.
This "gives us a sense of how many people, on average, on any given day in our community are in homelessness," says Aquino.
Moreover, 1,128 people are experiencing homelessness, according to Aquino. "And that includes not just adults, but families. Parents with children as well as youth," she adds.
Aquino says the solutions to the problem aren’t complicated but they are difficult.
“We've got to get people into some kind of stable housing," she says. "We've got to keep them housed and we have to support them in addressing the issues that led them into homelessness in the beginning."
Aquino sounds upbeat about the future, saying she believes “we are turning the corner,” when it comes to homelessness.
“We are better prepared than we have ever been,” says Aquino.