As the old year closes and a new one begins, many of us carry forth reflections we’re grateful for, as well as resolutions for things we want to change or adjust. We’re grateful for your support, and ask you to continue to give, to increase your donation, or to consider your first donation to The Glory Hole (TGH) as you fill out your PFD application through Pick.Click.Give.
We feel fortunate to live in Juneau, surrounded by inspirational and invigorating scenery as well as family, friends and a diverse, engaging community. There are simple things — like running into an acquaintance at a basketball game, or seeing a symphony concert at Thunder Mountain — that help us appreciate this vibrant, creative and interesting community. We appreciate the time and talents of so many people who make the capital city a unique place to call home.
We also have about 800 people who experience homelessness. That’s one of the reasons we serve on The Glory Hole (TGH) Board. Our privilege gives us the opportunity to support TGH’s mission of providing compassion, food and shelter to our neighbors most in need. As such, we continue to be inspired by Juneau’s generosity. In fact, annual individual donations to TGH comprise more than 50 percent of our operating costs. These costs cover expenses as TGH provides about 50,000 meals and 12,000 shelter beds each year, as well as access to legal support, job training, counseling, healthy activities, education and housing, among other things. We’re committed to continuing these essential services as Juneau works to address the issues related to homelessness. TGH often serves as a starting point on a path to stability for adults.
Dave (not his real name) moved here from another community in Southeast. He stayed at TGH when he first arrived in Juneau. He’d recently lost his job. As a Vietnam veteran diagnosed with PTSD, he faced other challenges, including substance addiction. TGH connected him with classes at The Learning Center, as well as opportunities at the Polaris House and St. Vincent de Paul; he now has a place to live and is employed in our community. We know there are as many reasons to be homeless as there are people who experience homelessness, and TGH served as a springboard for Dave’s stability and support.
We’re grateful that Juneau is resource-rich, and TGH has many active partnerships in the community. Over the last several years, TGH took on the lead role in the Juneau Housing First Collaborative Project. TGH staff and board members coordinated a multi-agency effort to create 32 apartments for the most vulnerable chronically homeless adults. An average tenant at the Juneau Housing First facility has been on the streets for more than nine and a half years and is likely to die on the street if not housed. TGH provides essential 24-hour staffing at Juneau Housing First. Additionally, TGH, together with AWARE, provides staffing at the new warming shelter located in the Public Safety building, used when outside temperatures fall below 32 degrees.
While we are not able to serve everyone who needs help inside of our well-utilized building, we are doing everything that we can to help our neighbors in need. Juneau has a long way to go before solving the myriad of problems related to homelessness, but it’s a resolution we share, along with members of the Juneau Housing/Homeless Coalition, the CBJ Assembly, our governor, businesses, foundations, and you — all working to address and advocate for solutions and options. As a community member, your Pick.Click.Give or online donation to TGH helps provide food and shelter, and support, and strengthens our resolve to find stability and solutions for families, uncles, sisters, neighbors and friends who don’t have a place to call home. Thank you!
Merry Ellefson and Dave Hurley
Members of The Glory Hole Board of Directors
*Please note that The Glory Hole will be listed under The Glory Hole Juneau Cooperative Christian Ministry.