City officials plan listening sessions for proposed homeless shelter in East Anchorage

An open Parking lot with various cars in it and trees surrounding.
The area where the city plans to build a 29,000 square foot navigation center for homeless adults. Officials say the shelter, which will sit on the parking lot on the far (west) end of the Anchorage Police Department impound lot next to the old APD headquarters on Tudor and Elmore roads. (Matt Faubion/Alaska Public Media)

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration will hold two listening sessions on the city’s proposal to build a new homeless shelter and navigation center at the corner of Tudor and Elmore roads. 

It’s part of the city’s plan to close the mass shelter at the Sullivan Arena that opened at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The new shelter would cost an estimated $9 million and house 200 people, though city officials say an additional 130 beds could be added in case of an emergency surge. The navigation center would also connect people with job resources as well as substance abuse treatment. 

The proposal is similar to a larger mass shelter pitched by the mayor last year, which was denied by the Assembly. 

At Tuesday night’s Assembly meeting, Bronson said the listening sessions will allow the public to learn more about the project and to ask questions.

“The proposed nav center that the legislative drafting group and I both support will serve as a key pillar as we build out our robust plan to help the most vulnerable in our city,” Bronson said.

So far, the city has a $50,000 contract with Roger Hickel Contracting to oversee construction of the navigation center, using a large, tent-like building. It’s anticipated to take six to eight weeks to build. The Assembly is set to vote to put roughly $8.2 million dollars towards the project at their meeting on April 26.

The first listening session on the proposed shelter will be held Wednesday, April 13, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Loussac Library. The second will be held on Thursday, April 28 — same time and place.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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