Glory Hole Homeless Shelter Reopens After Repairs

Glory Hole staffer Mindy Lee serves the first meal at the shelter’s headquarters since the building shut down for repairs two months ago. (Photo by Kevin Reagan/KTOO)
Glory Hole staffer Mindy Lee serves the first meal at the shelter’s headquarters since the building shut down for repairs two months ago. (Photo by Kevin Reagan/KTOO)

The Glory Hole Shelter and Soup Kitchen reopened its doors Wednesday morning after plumbing repairs closed down its headquarters for the last two months.

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Wednesday was move-in day for Mariya Lovishchuk at the Glory Hole.

The executive director of Juneau’s nonprofit homeless shelter has not worked at a desk of her own since a broken pipe flooded the building two months ago. Lovishchuk and her 10-person staff recently returned to their headquarters on Franklin Street to continue offering their full services.

“The transition period will be over pretty soon, it’s just really great to have the building back,” Lovishchuk says.

The shelter stayed in operation while its building was under repair. The Salvation Army and Holy Trinity Church helped the Glory Hole provide basic services to its regular patrons.

Lovishchuk says insurance covered most of the repair costs, and community donations allowed the Glory Hole building to undergo some much needed upgrades. New cabinet panels, kitchen stove and plumbing system were installed while the building was being serviced.

“Fortunately we have a lot of partners in the community and the state,” Lovishchuk says, “because of the help of our great partners it has not as been as horrible as it could have been.”

Lovishchuk’s staff prepared the first meal in the Glory Hole since re-opening on Wednesday to a crowd of about 20 people. On the menu was homemade chili and Subway sandwiches.

For Mike Davis, the chili wasn’t quite strong enough. He sprinkled some garlic salt on top — but it’s a ritual he does with all his food.

“Cold medicine is what it is actually,” says Davis, who has lived in Juneau since 1974.

Davis had been staying at Juneau International Hostel with other Glory Hole clients during the repairs. He doesn’t plan to stay in the shelter for very long but he’s glad to see it reopened for those who have nowhere else to go.

“I know it’s really important for a lot of these people,” Davis says. “They feel a lot more comfortable here, it’s a sense of security I guess.”

The Glory Hole is capable of housing 40 people at a time in its dormitories, and clients have been moving back in for the last couple of weeks.

With the building back in operation, Lovishchuk says it should be easier for the Glory Hole to continue its involvement with developing the capital city’s Housing First project to address chronic homelessness.