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City looks to build ‘recovery campus’

By Lauren Maxwell 8:43 PM April 20, 2017

It’s located at the end of the road, but if a city plan goes through, it could become a one-stop shop for people going through drug and alcohol treatment in Anchorage.

Anchorage Homeless Coordinator Nancy Burke said the City would like to tear down the old Clitheroe Center located near Point Woronzof and build a brand new one. It would become one component of what they are calling a “recovery campus”.

Burke said the campus would ideally include housing and possibly a job training center– the types of things people need to help them get sober and stay well.

“It’s challenging for that to happen at places like a shelter or places where people aren’t in recovery,” said Burke. “So, we feel that wrapping that support around them is really important.”

Burke said she’s spoken with several community councils in the area and most people seem supportive of the concept and the location.

Fiona Johnson, Clitheroe’s executive director agrees that it’s time for a new facility. And, she especially likes the idea of adding transitional housing. She said many of the clients they serve are homeless. Once they finish treatment, they have nowhere to go.

“We try our best, but unfortunately, after so much time when they are done with treatment, we can’t hold them here,” said Johnson. “We have to release them back to the shelters and sometimes they end up back on the streets for that reason.”

Burke said the plan is still in its early stages, but the City is forging ahead with site work and architectural plans are expected to come this summer. She said some of the funding would come from a $5 million capital grant the City received several years ago that was specifically earmarked for treatment.

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