Plans proceed for new treatment center near Point Woronzof
A plan to provide more substance-abuse treatment beds in Anchorage is moving forward.
Anchorage Homeless Coordinator Nancy Burke said she's been working on a plan to build what she called a "wellness campus" in the city for several years.
A 30 acre parcel near Point Woronzof, which is owned by the Municipality of Anchorage, will be the site of a new treatment facility to replace the aging Clitheroe Center. Burke said she's hopeful the new facility will have at least 60 beds.
"We are going to get as many beds as we can," Burke said. "So, depending on how much money we have, we would welcome 60, but we would go up from there. And we think if we did the right mix of housing and services, we could get up to 200 people here."
Burke said she envisions a campus where people could get more than just immediate treatment -- one that also provides the living skills that people need to start over.
"What happens now is, they do part here and a part in the community," Burke said. "Then if they don't have housing, sometimes they're at the homeless shelter so it's really all pieced together. We want one recovery campus where someone can get everything in one dose, and then be stable and ready to transition out."
But Burke said the grand plan will cost money, probably lots of it. Right now the city has a grant from the state that totals near $5 million. Burke said that's enough to complete about half of the treatment facility and not much more.
Mayor Ethan Burkowitz, who accompanied Assembly Members on a tour of the site Thursday, said he thinks additional funding should come from a variety of sources including state, federal and private stakeholders. He said the city is "willing to be at the table to discuss funding with potential partners."
In the meantime, Burke said, the plans will move forward. She expects to break ground on the new treatment facility by the spring of 2019.