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The Arc of Anchorage: April 2017 InSights



As we reflect on our past 60 years of service in Alaska, we are also looking forward with continuing work in our community to create a more inclusive future for the individuals and families we serve. On April 29, we invite the community to join us in our 60th Anniversary Celebration at The Arc. This special evening will feature a historical tour throughout our campus, a dinner banquet and an awards ceremony with guest speakers and leaders from our community as well as the president of our national chapter, The Arc of the U.S., Mr. Peter Burns. To purchase tickets visit: www.TheArc60th.com. If your company or organization would like to purchase a table or become a sponsor of the 60th Anniversary event, please contact Karolina Bednarska at 907.777.0107 or kbednarska@thearcofanchorage.org.


Horticultural Program

Happy New Year! We welcome 2017 and are excited to announce the 60th Anniversary for The Arc of Anchorage. Six decades ago in 1957,  The Arc of Anchorage began when a group of parents concerned about the education of their children who experienced intellectual disabilities met to form the Parents Association for Retarded Children of Anchorage (PARCA).  Now, 60 years later, our organization has grown with the community and is now proudly named The Arc of Anchorage, a multi-faceted organization dedicated to improving the lives of Alaskans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc secures opportunities for individuals in our community to make their own choices about, and how they will succeed in, life, work and play.  As we celebrate our past, we also look forward to the future, as The Arc continues to improve and grow in providing an array of quality services for generations to come.

The Arc’s Community Homes

Individuals with disabilities share the same right as everyone else in choosing where to live. The Arc of Anchorage provides a variety of housing and living supports and choices for individuals we serve. Housing opportunities are adapted to meet the unique needs of each resident. The Arc currently manages 21 licensed homes located in the greater Anchorage community and residents become fully integrated in their surrounding neighborhood.  

These homes are considered private residences for the 50 individuals supported by The Arc’s Community Living Services (CLS) program. CLS creates a partnership with individuals to create a positive, supportive and warm living environment. Homes provide a sense of belonging to the community for the individual, as well as an environment to develop their independent living and personal development skills. Residents view their home simply as a place to just relax or to socially interact with others. Each resident takes great pride in decorating and furnishing their homes and they work in partnership with CLS staff to create their own schedules.

Each home is staffed according to residents’ staffing needs and supports. The staff provide oversight and ensure the health and safety needs of each resident are met. The staff also provide community outings to support residents living in their chosen homes. The staff work in partnership with the residents to create that “home-like” atmosphere. 

The Arc’s Espresso shop

The Arc of Anchorage Espresso Shop began 17 years ago and now serves hundreds of people every week. The Arc runs the small eatery to provide everything from coffee drinks to daily lunch specials such as a baked potato bar, gyros and more, while offering an important opportunity for individuals to receive important hands-on employment training. It also provides a warm inviting atmosphere where employees of The Arc and people from the community and surrounding neighborhood gather to fuel up: Whaley School, Assets Inc., Anchor Rides, state employees, visiting care coordinators, city employees and more visit our campus for lunch or a snack.

The Arc Espresso Shop is a special part of The Arc’s Supported Employment Services program and provides on-site training for individuals who wish to gain employment in the community. The daily operation of The Arc Espresso Shop during the business week allows individuals to strengthen job skills, learn customer service, as well as acquire food handling training in the food service industry. When an individual is ready, they move on to employment in the community.

To view the lunch specials menu online, go to our main website and click “Espresso Shop” in the top right corner: https://thearcofanchorage.org/


Key Campaign

March 3,  marked the 30th anniversary of Key Campaign and with over 150 participants in the Anchorage rally and march event, it was one of our best years yet! The Arc of Anchorage came together with Hope Community Resources, Stone Soup Group and Focus Outreach to ensure individuals a chance to share their voice and discuss current issues. Five self-advocates from The Arc of Anchorage spoke to the crowd during the pre-rally portion of the event at Williwaw and educated participants on the Campaign Priorities for 2017.  The Key Coalition of Alaska created four Key Campaign platform priorities for this year: Partnership, Preservation, Product and Price. The rally event was part of a state-wide effort for self-advocates to participate in communities across our state while other self-advocates focused their efforts on meeting with lawmakers in Juneau on March 3.

Project Search

The Arc of Anchorage continues its on-going support and involvement with the national, young adult school-to-work transition program called Project SEARCH. The organization partners with The Arc of Anchorage along with Providence Alaska Medical Center, Anchorage School District, Governor’s Council on Disabilities and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to promote professional development of young people who experience significant disabilities. Interns are selected through a competitive application and interview process. They are expected to make successful, competitive employment a priority.  

Project SEARCH is currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 academic school year.  Prospective interns must be referred by an Anchorage School District teacher. For more information about Project SEARCH at The Arc, contact Danny Parish, Director of Supported Employment Services, at 907-277-6677 or dparish@thearcofanchorage.org.

Public Testimony

Self-Advocates, Rose Rowe and Anne Burch provided public testimony in support of fixing or increasing the Medicaid Reimbursement Rates for Behavior Health Treatment and Services. The reimbursement rates have not seen an increase since the 1990s. Self-advocates talked about how this issue affected them personally and how increasing the rates would better help meet the needs of Alaskans who need services and supports. 

New Online Donations

The Arc’s Pickup-Services Program has been working hard in partnership with Savers/Value Village to help make scheduling a donation pick up better than ever! Along with the traditional methods of bin drop-offs and calling or texting to schedule a pick up, we now have an online scheduling tool: http://pickup.thearcofanchorage.org/ or click the “Schedule a Pickup” button on our home page. This new page features updated information along with the convenient online scheduling tool. Users can make a personalized account, entering pertinent information just once and then choices of dates and times are available to pick for our donation pick up service. 


Thank you to all of our generous donors, sponsors, and benefactors. It is because of your support that Alaskans who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities are given opportunities to thrive and to celebrate their potential.


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