By Associated Press - Thursday, September 21, 2017

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The first eight residents of a new supportive housing facility in Juneau will be moving in sometime next week.

The Housing First program offered public tours of the 32-unit facility on Wednesday, which is geared toward housing homeless people with dependencies, The Juneau Empire reported (

Program Director Dacia Davis has worked in social services for 14 years and said she hasn’t seen anything like this facility in Alaska.

“I see it as extremely unique,” Davis said, “because it’s really just allowing the tenants to guide their own choices and we as a staff get to show up and be positive supports as much or as little as (the tenants) want.”

Residents will have access to behavioral health services, medical services, food, laundry and a small learning center. Each unit comes with a kitchen, bathroom, table and bed.

Staff from numerous community organizations interviewed 96 homeless people as part of a vulnerability study, from which the Juneau Housing First Collaborative selected the 32 people who will stay at the shelter.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks will conduct a study of tenants who agree to participate. Researchers will interview the residents when they move in, asking about the past year of their life.

They’ll check in every few months for the ensuing three years, eventually collecting data to evaluate the program and the benefits of the Housing First system, board member Jeannette Lacy said.

“It’s just gonna be a learning curve, for sure, because it is a new project, which is exciting,” Davis said.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire,

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