​​​​​​​​Community Investments​

The COVID-19 pandemic universally disrupted life in Anchorage, upheaving the foundations upon which our community is built. As business owners struggled to adapt operations, employees lost their jobs. As residents struggled to secure limited resources, loved ones battled the virus. So much was lost.

With great need for community stability and social mobility, federal funds directed to community development programs strengthen workforce development and offer direct financial relief to Anchorage's vital community assets. ​​​

Recovery Spotlight

United Way of Anchorage | $2,800,000

In 2020, the restaurant industry crashed 72% overnight. Seeing the need for intervention, United Way of Anchorage invited a network of com​​munity organizations, including the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Community Foundation, Hospitality Retailers Association and many others to turn the Municipality's $2.8 million investment into a $4.1 million project to keep restaurants open, save employees on the job and feed Anchorage residents in need: the Restaurant and Hunger Relief Program.


Impact ​By the Numbers
Building on a network of community support, the project served more than 322,000 meals across Anchorage to 34 nonprofit and shelter sites from 65 restaurants in 2021.

The project rescued 748 employees across the restaurant industry who were hired, rehired or maintained that may not have had jobs otherwise. Plus, 410 employees were able to access additional hours to meet the demand of the program.

The impact of this work vibrated across Anchorage to families and small business alike. Hungry kids can't learn; the Restaurant and Hunger Relief Program served Anchorage kids when they needed it most. ​​

a blue mug filled with coffee showing Latte Art from Moose a la Mode

We survived. We brought back our whole staff, eventually, and we’re still surviving… and it’s all because of this program. If we hadn’t been apart of [the Restaurant and Hunger Relief Program], if we hadn’t made it through, we would have closed. I owe everything to the donors, to everybody, because without this, we wouldn’t have made it and there would just be an empty café on 4th and K.

Brandi Rathbun, Owner of Moose a la Mode​


​​​Recovery in Action ​​​​​​

Learn where ARPA federal relief dollars are making a difference.


ARPA 2021
ARPA 2022

ARPA 2021​ | American Rescue Plan Act

​Roger Brooks "Road to Recovery"​
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation coordinated the Roger Brooks "Road to Recovery," a project to assess the pandemic's impact in the community. The assessment​, created by Roger Brooks, international destination development expert​, encompassed downtown and surrounding areas and used activities like “secret shopping," ​​to develop ideas, options, and ways Anchorage can recover and start on a path of success post-COVID. Findings from the evaluation were presented at the AEDC 3-Year Outlook Luncheon​ on August 3, 2022. Learn more about the findings and review the AEDC 2022 Economic Forecast Report

Chugiak Eagle River Senior Center
​​​Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center provides​ services to seniors age 60 and over as well as disabled adults who live in the greater Chugiak, Eagle River and Eklutna areas​ that are geared toward helping individuals maintain their independence and remain in their chosen community. Funding strengthened broadband capacity and internet services to allow for installation of security cameras and improve internet access for residents, staff, members and guestsLearn more about the Chugiak Eagle River Senior Center​​.

​Anchorage Youth Court
Anchorage Youth Court (AYC) is a diversionary program for youth in grades 7 through 12 who are accused of breaking the law. Rather than receiving a formal juvenile record, accused youth are judged by their peers, who take on the roles of attorneys, judges, bailiffs, clerks, and jurors during the trials. Funding allowed the program to continue and expand during the pandemic. Learn more about the Anchorage Youth Court​.

Northern Culture Exchange
​​A nonprofit dedicated to putting Alaskan creativity to work, Northern Culture Exchange unites Alaskan and circumpolar arts and creative programs. Funding granted through ARPA in 2021 supported a targeted economic impact study, ecosystem assessment, and set of strategies and policy recommendations to reignite Anchorages creative economy and ancillary businesses, including Anchorage’s music and night time businesses, tourism, and economic development sectors. Learn more about the report in progress.

​Bike Racks Across the Town
​ARPA Funds distributed to Bike Anchorage funded the installation of bicycle racks throughout the Municipality to provide more options for tourists and residents alike to access attractions and local businesses and connect with outdoor public spaces. Learn more about Bike Anchorage​

Midtown Improvement District​​​
The Midtown Community Council pursued the exploration and organization around the formation of a Midtown Improvement District to promote security, safety and economic stimulus in Midtown. ARPA Funds enabled outside expertise on the size of the district, necessary steps to create a tax improvement district and the scope of the work the district may wish to fund. Learn more about the Midtown Community Council

Alaska Works Partnership 
​The first trade program to receive state funding in the country, the Alaska Works Partnership offers free and low-cost trade training to the Anchorage community. The organization ​provides basic skills training, industry education, and career coaching to Anchorage community members who are interested in a career in Alaska's construction, oil, gas, mining, transportation and maritime industries.​

ARPA funding ignited a recruitment and retention push to meet ri​sing needs for skilled trade professionals. 
Learn more about AWP.​

McDonald (MAC) Center ​
​A premier sports facility in​ Eagle River, the Harry J. McDonald Memorial is home to an Olympic size ice rink, a 170’ x 75’  multi-use turf field, 2 lane walking/jogging track, and 2 community meeting rooms, offering families an array of healthy activities. ARPA funding contributed to the MAC Center's stability in response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the MAC Center​

​Anchorage Downtown Partnership
A non-profit entity charged with management of the Downtown Improvement District, the Anchorage Downtown Partnership received funds to to continue and expand their efforts to  provide a clean and safe downtown, and invest in the​ activation of public spaces in the downtown through a variety of efforts which aim to ensure the vitality of downtown. Further, these funds will be used to attract additional financial support to accomplish a broad array of projects including façade improvemen​ts, wayfinding with Indigenous place names, murals, Winter City activation. Learn more about the Anchorage Downtown Partnership

Shiloh Community Housing LIFE@Work
Shiloh Community Housing, Inc. (“SCHI”) is a 501c(3) faith based, Black-led nonprofit organization addressing homelessness by offering accessibility to affordable, quality housing and eliminating the main causes of homelessness, including lack of education, poor financial management, social barriers, lack of health and wellness knowledge, barriers to technology as well as lack of support and empathy from the community.

SCHI's LIFE@Work program removes employment barriers by providing work readiness training, job training, work experience opportunities and wellness guidance to young adults 16 – 24 years of age. Funding not only supported the LIFE@Work program; funding was also used for LIFE, a transitional housing program for young adults experiencing homelessness who also experience employment barriers.

Mountain View Health Services
​Mountain View Health Services operates a non-profit community health clinic in Mountain View, Alaska offering high quality and convenient primary care, urgent care, and counseling services to residents.

Federal relief funds directly addressed the rising health needs of the community, funding the expansion of medical offices and clinic space to keep staff and patients safe. “COVID-proofing” measures included a negative pressure and “air-scrubbing” ventilation system with heat recovery and other clinic modifications.

Learn more about Mountain View Health Services

Anchorage Cultural Pillars
​Anchorage's Cultural Pillars, including the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, Alaska Native Heritage CenterAnchorage Museum, The Alaska Zoo and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center are vital community assets. ARPA funds were directed to the pillars collectively, with 50% of the funding divided equally among the organizations and 50% divided by the size of the organization. Learn more about funding to the Cultural Pillars

United Way of Anchorage Restaurant and Hunger Relief Program
​This innovative Restaurant and Hunger Relief program brings desperately needed revenue to Anchorage restaurants, keeps Alaskans on the job, and provides meals to families and individuals struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. Leveraging ARPA funds and third-party donations, the project served more than 322,000 meals across Anchorage to 34 nonprofit and shelter sites from 65 restaurants in 2021.

Learn more about the Restaurant and Hunger Relief Program. ​

UAA Fast Track Career Certificate Program
​The only public, urban university in the state, the University of Alaska Anchorage serves the diverse workforce development needs of Alaskans. ARPA Funding supported the Fast Track Career Certificate program at UAA, which offers short-term, job- oriented certificates requiring 16-19 credits over 2-3 semesters. 

With a focus on serving those who are unemployed, the program offers re-training and skill upgrades during a critical time so more individuals are ready and capable as jobs return. Learn more about the UAA Fast Track Career Certificate Program

ARPA 2022 | American Rescue Plan Act

​Providence Alaska Medical Center C​risis Stabilization Center
​The Crisis Stabilization Center will meet current demand for behavioral health services and reduce the burden on law enforcement, emergency departments, first responders, and Alaska Psychiatric Institute for adults experiencing a behavioral health crisis. With a behavioral health-led, trauma-informed approach to services, funding is dedicated to recruit and train staff prior to opening July 2023.

United Way of Anchorage Restaurant & Hunger Relief Program
​This program was started in November 2020 to provide economic development and relief by buying meals from local restaurants chosen in lottery drawings and providing them to non-profit community service locations such as shelters, senior centers, childcare settings, & to housing programs for low-income families, persons with disabilities/elderly. This funding is to be used to evolve into a sustainable, long-term program. 

​Partners for Progress Reentry Center
Combined with funds from two other sources, this funding will go towards the purchase of a building at 206 E Fourth Avenue across from Downtown Fire Station from the current property owner leasing the property to the nonprofit. Partners for Progress has operated the Prisoner Reentry Center (PRC) in this building since 2013. Located at the end of a direct ten-minute walk from the point were 45% of all Alaska prisoners are released, the building is uniquely well-located for this purpose.
​Alaska Works Partnership Project Skills Gap
​AWP's existing programs develop a workforce for building and facility maintenance, new construction, road construction, utilities, transportation, and communication.  Project Skills Gap aligns with job training programs lacking funding for after-care job placement and support, expanding outreach activities for underserved populations, and creating a skills bank to provide employers and apprenticeship programs with a local workforce. 

​Anchorage Community Land Trust Set Up Shop
​These funds continue an initial investment in ACLT staffing with federal relief funds to staff three full-time staff members to manage outreach and technical assistance services for neighborhood small businesses and entrepreneurs. The needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs have not gone away with pandemic easing and the services provided by ACLT have been completely oversubscribed. Staffing funds allow ACLT to deliver services at a high-level to neighborhood businesses. 

​Umoja Coworking & Incubator Space
​Umoja is a co-working and business services space dedicated to empowering underrepresented entrepreneurs by supporting culture, collaboration, community, events with an outsite childcare.We launched in 2020, and offer a coworking space, access to resources and experts who can help grow your business, and a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who provide services in mulitple languages with diverse communities needs in mind.
​Conquer COVID Coalition "Stay Healthy Anchorage" Campaign
​Conquer COVID Coalition had a specific focus at the height of the pandemic. As the pandemic evolved, the coalition adjusted to address other challenges in addition to COVID, including encouraging communities to get their flu shot while staying up-to-date on COVID vaccinations and other immunizations. The campaign has evolved from "Conquer COVID" to "Stay Healthy, Anchorage" to emphasize vigilance with the goal to include COVID mitigation as part of overall good health and keeping businesses open. 
​Visit Anchorage Alaska Native Frontline Training Development
​Visit Anchorage will produce standalone training modules to better educate newly hired seasonal workers and residents em​ployees on Alaska Native cultures, Dena'ina culture and vocabulary, and regional history.



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