A new initiative between Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) and partnering organizations will expand service opportunities for comprehensive recovery treatment options for those experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.
Funded through a $2 million Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) grant, the Anchorage Grants to Benefit Homeless Individuals (GBHI) Collaboration is a partnership between CITC, the Municipality of Anchorage’s Housing and Homelessness Coordination Initiative (HHCI), the Rural Alaska Community Action Program Inc. (RurAL CAP), and the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness (ACEH).
The collaboration will expand recovery and behavioral support services for individuals currently having limited access to these services within existing affordable subsidized housing programs in Anchorage.
Serving nearly 400 individuals over five years, the project will emphasize meeting the needs of Alaska Native and American Indian people by providing access to treatment and assistance to maintain permanent housing.
“Stable housing is a fundamental requirement for people seeking self-sufficiency,” said CITC President and CEO Gloria O’Neill. “A safe and nurturing environment allows individuals to focus on other goals in their lives, and provides a foundation for overcoming addiction, finding employment, and facing other challenges,” O’Neill said.
In addition to needed housing, the partnership will provide access to on-site recovery and behavioral services, and referrals for other resources supporting the health and well-being of individuals experiencing homelessness.”This initiative addresses gaps in critical services for those living on the streets,” said Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz. “It will make a difference in the lives of people who are homeless, and will make Anchorage healthier for everyone.”
RurAL CAP’s Supportive Housing division will serve a significant role in the project by assisting individuals in moving toward economic independence through street-based outreach for housing and related services that address the frequently interrelated experience of homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.
“RurAL CAP is proud of our long-standing relationship with the initiative’s partners, and of the vital community impact we anticipate will result from this collaborative endeavor,” said RurAL CAP CEO Dr. Gary Ferguson. “We are grateful for the opportunity to voice our commitment to the project, and to the health and well-being of the people we serve.”
Initiative partners have committed to the following:
- Through this initiative, CITC proposes to provide, outreach, case management, peer support and substance use services and supports to 375 unduplicated individuals over the next five years.
- CITC will provide referrals to a variety of community treatment and behavioral health providers in order to meet the demand for services.
- RurAL CAP’s Supportive Housing division will provide outreach and coordination of services, such as shelter- and street-based outreach; services and housing needs assessments; assistance in identifying, seeking, obtaining, and maintaining shelter; transportation assistance; and information regarding rights and additional resources.
- The Municipality of Anchorage’s Housing and Homelessness Coordination Initiative and the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness commit to working to incorporate the connection of services into the Coordinated Entry System, and to supporting and recommending Steering Committee members for the project.