Tag: Solutions Desk

Alaska DOC commissioner wants to stop easy access of illegal drugs in prisons

Dean Williams, the commissioner of the Department of Corrections, acknowledges it's easy to access illegal drugs in prison in Alaska. He says his department is trying to stop it.

Letting youth run the court to give their peers a second chance

When a young person commits a minor offense for the first time, like vandalism or petty theft, they sometimes have a choice. They can either be charged by the standard juvenile justice system and potentially get an offense on their criminal records, or they can go to youth court.

Reaching out to youth where they are

Sometimes when young people are in rough situations, they don’t want to ask for help. Especially not from adults. That’s where peer outreach workers step in. Alaska Youth Advocates have been connecting with youth on the streets of Anchorage and helping them find resources for 25 years.

For foster youth, sometimes the solution is saving each other

Being in foster care can be hard, and foster youth often turn to each other for support. Sometimes that leads to unexpected relationships.

How hip housing helped bring donuts to Spenard

Cook Inlet Housing has developments across Anchorage, including a new 33-unit building in Spenard. In an area of town often better known for its colorful past, the developer is trying to use state-of-the-art modern housing to help promote the neighborhood's future. And it's working.

How to end homelessness in Anchorage, together

Anchorage has a plan to end homelessness, but its implementation is just beginning. As community leaders dig into the details of solving one of the city's toughest problems, getting everyone on the same page is bound to complicated. So they're starting with a conversation. But what do people who are experiencing homelessness say?

Laying the groundwork for housing solutions

A closer look at steadfast, long-term solutions that lay the groundwork for housing development statewide with the executive director of the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness.

Teacher housing teaches life lessons

The school in Nikolai, until recently, had a problem. There was nowhere for the high school teacher to live. So they asked the students to build her a house.

Painting an Oasis in prison

The Department of Corrections is the largest mental health care provider in the state, and the administrators at Spring Creek Correctional Center want to make it one of the most effective, too. They’re treating inmates who have mental illnesses with new innovations, like "porches" and paintings.

Changing the way you think to stay out of prison

How do you change who you are when you live in a world that constantly says you're bad? Take a lot of classes.

Dog training provides prisoners lessons that people can’t

Staying calm and taking responsibility are some of the keys to success both inside and outside of prison. But sometimes it takes more than a person to teach that. Meet the dogs of Wildwood Correctional Center in Kenai.

Building a future after prison through vocational education

In Alaska, two-thirds of people who leave prison end up going back within three years. But former inmates who can find decent jobs within a year of release are half as likely to re-offend. So how does the Department of Corrections want to cut recidivism? By teaching the trades.

Going further than Food Stamps in rural Alaska

For most of the United States, the most effective way to get food to people who need it is through Food Stamps. But what happens if you live in a place where stores are limited and expensive? Subsistence doesn’t provide everything that people are accustomed to eating anymore. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has part of the solution through an alternative to SNAP for members of federally recognized tribes in rural areas of Alaska and on Indian Reservations.

Some old solutions still work: helping people buy food with SNAP

Researchers say one of the most effective ways to fight hunger nationwide is also one of the oldest: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It's still making sure fewer Alaskans go to bed hungry.

Catching food security in a dipnet

Droves of people flood the Kenai to dipnet each year, but does it pay? Given how much you spend on gear and gas, is it a viable solution for food insecurity? Some say yes.

How books and buses are fighting summer hunger in rural Alaska

Summer meals programs for getting food to hungry kids don't work in rural areas, especially in Alaska. People in Talkeetna are overcoming that problem with the help of books, buses, and backpacks.