Anchorage, AK – Today, Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson announced that the Municipality of Anchorage will end its pandemic congregate shelter operations at the Sullivan Arena effective June 30, 2022. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic thrust the Muni into providing adequate shelter options for those affected by the virus. When COVID-19 arrived in Anchorage, local nonprofit shelters did not have the capacity to meet physical distancing requirements, and thus the Sullivan Arena was stood up to fill the gap. Since March 2020, the Sullivan Arena has been operating as a temporary shelter and congregate site, housing many residents affected by the pandemic.
Given the significantly diminished impact the virus is having on the community, lack of emergency declarations at the local and state level, and FEMA's reimbursement of COVID related expenses ending on July 1, 2022, the Muni is moving forward with a comprehensive plan to transition those at the Sullivan Arena into viable housing options.
“It is time to close this chapter in our city's history and move forward with a bold plan that both treats those experiencing homelessness with dignity and restores the Sullivan Arena to its intended purpose as a place for memorable community gatherings and events," said Mayor Bronson. “Our transition plan is a robust bi-partisan public-private partnership that has been in the works for nearly a year, and represents the largest investment ever made by the Muni to address homelessness in our community."
The Administration has begun the process of notifying residents at the Sullivan Arena, and the Municipality is working with local non-profits and providers to transition individuals into housing options that meet their specific needs. Roughly 320 individuals currently reside at the Sullivan Arena.
The transition plan relies on planks established by the facilitated workgroup, made up of the Administration and Assembly, and will involve moving individuals into permanent supportive housing, workforce supportive housing, drug and alcohol treatment facilities, and other temporary housing options. Additionally, with the Muni-backed Navigation Center expected to open this fall, an additional 150 beds will be available for temporary sheltering needs.
For more information on the Municipality's comprehensive response to homelessness, click here.
Media Contact: Hans Rodvik, Deputy Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-570-6646