ANCHORAGE - Catholic Social Services’ temporary shelter for women, the Clare House, is moving to a new location. Right now its Midtown facility can only hold 15 families that have to live in a communal space. But staff said the women would rather be in a safe shelter than on the streets.
“It puts a smile on my heart to help them succeed, to see them get food and shelter and everyday living that a lot of us take for granted,” said Sharese Hughes, a family support staff member.
They won’t be in the crowded facility for much longer though. Catholic Social Services bought the Eagle’s Nest Motel for $1.7 million. It has 31 units that each have one to two bedrooms, which means families will get the privacy they need.
“Think about yourself. We all have things we have to deal with, and it's so much easier to do that when you have your own space than when you're surrounded by 40 or 50 other people,” said Executive Director Susan Bomalaski.
While the Clare House is meant to be temporary housing, the new building will let families stay for up to two years instead of just 30 days.
“They really need the help, having to stay longer. So many times there's issues around employment and education and childcare. You can't do it in a 30-day shelter. You really need more time. We'll be able to provide classes here for people and help them get back on their feet and help them break the cycle of homelessness,” said Bomalaski.
Renovation will take a few months, but families are expected to move in in December.