The Bronson administration is negotiating a contract to build a 330-person shelter in Anchorage

A satellite image of some streets
A satelite view of the area of the proposed shelter on Tudor and Elmore in Anchorage (Google Earth screenshot)

The Bronson administration is negotiating a contract to build a large homeless center on the corner of Tudor and Elmore that could sleep up to 330 people, primarily single adults. 

If built, the shelter would be open 24/7 and have few restrictions about who is allowed in it. It would also be set up so that guests have access to service providers that could help them connect to resources like permanent housing and job training. 

While designed to sleep 200 people, it could accommodate up to 130 more, according to a recent summary of progress of a group of administration representatives and Assembly members. 

The administration hasn’t announced who the contractor is. It didn’t respond to a request for comment, but according to documents from a meeting with the Assembly Housing and Homelessness Committee last week, the administration will release more information once the contract negotiations are finished. 

The site of the shelter would be next to the former Anchorage Police Department offices on the corner of Tudor and Elmore Roads. Unlike a previous proposal, the current plan would put the shelter adjacent to the APD impound lot and wouldn’t require vehicles to be moved. 

The Assembly has allocated several million dollars for initial funding for the design and planning of the project, and the administration is working to secure $15 million from the state of Alaska to build it. It’s not clear if the Assembly would need to allocate more funds. 

The Bronson administration proposed an even larger version of the shelter when it came into office last summer. That proposal was shot down by the Assembly, largely over concerns about costs. 

Administration officials and representatives from the Anchorage Assembly have been working on a plan to move out of the city’s largest shelter at the Sullivan Arena since last fall. According to a Wednesday statement, the administration is shooting for a June 30 deadline to move out of the sports arena.

Meanwhile, the administration is gearing up to implement other pieces of the plan to move out of the Sullivan Arena. As of last week, the administration said it was on track to finalize the purchase of the Sockeye Inn by March 31, according to documents shared with the Assembly housing committee. That building would be set up to treat as many as 120 people experiencing homelessness who have complex medical needs. Catholic Social Services agreed to operate the facility. 

As of last week, the working group is still trying to find a good site to house people in need of permanent supportive housing, as well as for workforce housing and people with special needs. 

The Sullivan has been sleeping as many as 500 people each night since the pandemic started, but city officials are hoping to return it to its original use as a hockey arena.  

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.

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