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Community dedicates new Clare House shelter

By Lauren Maxwell 10:22 PM October 30, 2013

The new shelter has twice as much space as the former facility

ANCHORAGE – Homeless women and their children have a new place to stay tonight, now that the new Clare House has officially opened its doors.

The shelter has moved to a new home in Spenard, and Tuesday marked the official dedication ceremony. The shelter was supposed to open earlier this summer, but workers who converted an old hotel into the shelter encountered a number of challenges, including replacing the entire roof.

“There’s been a lot of challenges but it’s all happened in less than a year,” said Catholic Social Services Director Susan Bomalaski. “Really it all happened in about nine months because we really didn’t start full-on until last January. So, it’s been an amazing journey with a lot of help from the community.”

The new shelter can hold up to 120 people: That’s a big jump from the old one, which had a maximum capacity of about 45 women and children. Bomalaski says the new Clare House has other advantages, including a transitional housing unit where residents will be allowed to stay for up to two years while they get back on their feet and search for permanent housing.

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