Anchorage may spend $444,000 to house the homeless this winter
The Anchorage Assembly is debating a contract to provide around $444,000 for Bean's Cafe to operate as an emergency overnight shelter this winter.
Assemblyman Christopher Constant says there doesn't seem to be much opposition to the measure. But he adds there are concerns about providing so many services in one spot as the Brother Francis Shelter is close by.
"Before we authorize the contract and before we authorize the funding we want to know what the plan is for safety, security and for ensuring that the people who are served there aren't just put in harms way," he said.
Constant says money the city spent to keep the Brother Francis homeless shelter open because of budget cuts by Gov. Mike Dunleavy this year is the money they wanted to use for the emergency shelter at Bean's. He says funds will now come from anticipated money left over at the end of the year.
"It's not ideal to take it from fund balance because at the end of the year we may have other priorities. But the bottom line is this is an exigent need right now. We have to fund it," he said.
Dunleavy's press secretary Matt Shuckerow says the administration is happy to see that the budget started a very serious conversation about the role communities and municipalities can play in budget issues.
Constant says the assembly will discuss the issue again at a special meeting set for Oct. 4.
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