Anchorage’s homeless community endures 6th death in two weeks

Another member of Anchorage’s homeless community died early Tuesday morning. It’s the sixth such death in the last two weeks.

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Beans Cafe. Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA - Anchorage.
Beans Cafe. Photo by Daysha Eaton, KSKA – Anchorage.

Lisa Sauder is the executive director of Beans Cafe. She says the organization was notified Tuesday morning that a client had passed away overnight.

“She was found unresponsive on the sidewalk on 3rd Avenue, near Beans Cafe,” Sauder said. “It’s a devastating loss for our staff and volunteers and clients to lose six people in this short of a time frame.”

Emergency personnel responded to a cardiac arrest call around 3 a.m. Tuesday at 3rd and Karluk, near Beans Cafe.

The deceased has not been publicly identified yet, but Sauder says she was well known among Beans Cafe staff and other clients and volunteers of the shelter.

“We worked with her extensively. And, you know, it’s very sad to lose someone no matter what the circumstances,” Sauder said. “This, for many reasons, was particularly tragic for us and our thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family.”

Sauder says it’s alarming to lose such a large number of people in the homeless community in such a short span of time, especially during the summer.

“I think it should cause a lot of concern among the entire community, because ultimately this is a community issue and Beans Cafe cannot address it alone,” Sauder said. “We really need the entire community to help us and help us, and to bring forth solutions and assistance.”

Sauder says, in light of the homeless deaths, she has met with the mayor’s office to form a plan to address the problem.