Community Leaders Announce Public-Private Partnership to Provide Housing Stabilization in “Path to Independence”
Innovative new approach supports individuals with housing, case management
ANCHORAGE, AK—The Municipality of Anchorage, along with Cook Inlet Housing Authority, Weidner Apartment Homes, Rasmuson Foundation, and several other local foundations, businesses, and community organizations announced a public-private partnership to provide housing assistance for people experiencing homelessness.
Path to Independence will place forty homeless individuals in apartment homes owned by Weidner Apartment Homes and Cook Inlet Housing Authority. The goal of this new pilot program is to quickly house individuals and families experiencing homelessness and to help them remain housed permanently. Program participants, referred from the Coalition to End Homelessness’s “coordinated entry” list, will receive financial assistance for up to six months and case management for up to one year. The program will focus on immediate housing stabilization, followed by employment preparedness and connectivity to community support organizations. Weidner Apartment Homes and Cook Inlet Housing Authority will provide employment opportunities for some participants.
“This innovative partnership is an example of how community leaders are coming together to solve homelessness in Anchorage,” said Mayor Berkowitz. “This Path to Independence approach to homelessness combines physical infrastructure with an investment in support services and job readiness to create conditions for long-term participant success.”
The core elements of this pilot program include financial assistance for housing and employment-related costs, case management for participants, a central contact for landlords through a Landlord Liaison, employment opportunities, and support for administrative expenses incurred by participating nonprofits. More than $650,000 in program funding is being provided by partnering agencies.
“The long-term effects to those that are going through the pain and isolation of homelessness is a cost that we as a society can no longer casually turn a blind eye to. For years, I’ve contemplated different ways that private landlords can leverage some of the housing stock that we own in order to help address the homeless situation that seems to be growing every day,” said Dean Weidner, Founder and President of Weidner Apartment Homes. “The Path to Independence pilot program integrates a number of the most successful attributes of other plans into an Anchorage specific model to address the unique issues we see here. We are committed to helping advance this concept throughout the pilot stage and look forward to the lessons we’ll learn as a result of our participation.”
The program is expected to launch in July 2018. Participating landlords include Weidner Apartment Homes and Cook Inlet Housing Authority, and Catholic Social Services will provide case management. Path to Independence will coordinate with job training and education providers throughout the Anchorage community. Funders include Weidner Apartment Homes, Providence Health and Services Alaska, Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, ConocoPhillips Alaska, BP Alaska, Carr Foundation, First National Bank Alaska, Wells Fargo, Municipality of Anchorage, GCI, Cook Inlet Region Inc., Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, Bering Straits Native Corporation, Bristol Bay Native Corporation, Doyon, Chugach Alaska Corporation, Sealaska Corporation, Koniag, Inc, Calista Corporation, NANA Corporation, Aleut Corporation, and the Alaska Community Foundation.