City to hear report on cold weather shelter

Operating for 70 nights this past winter, the City and Borough of Juneau-funded cold weather shelter saved lives.

That result is part of the presentation from CBJ Chief Housing Officer Scott Ciambor will give during the Committee of the Whole regular meeting at Assembly Chambers at 6 p.m. Monday.

In the report, Ciambor outlines what the shelter was able to accomplish and how it helped relieve stress from other Juneau emergency services systems. However, it could be better, he said.

“Even though the project was up and running quickly, additional safety precautions and staff training would be essential to operating a similar project in the future,” Ciambor said in the report. “Providing adequate staffing was a big challenge for Glory Hole (homeless shelter) and AWARE (Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies).”

Ciambor points out that one staffer, Jackie Bryant, worked most nights the shelter opened and helped stabilize the project.

Due to how quickly the shelter got up and running, Ciambor said earlier planning would need to be done. The shelter — operated at the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Public Safety Building — was funded in the amount of $75,000 from the city in November last year and opened December. It ran though April 15 and was open every night temperatures dropped 32 degrees Fahrenheit or lower.

In the report, statistics gathered through Homeless Management Information System state the shelter served 158 unique individuals with 715 total bed nights.

Feedback from other organizations also credit the success of the shelter. This past winter was the first time the Glory Hole homeless shelter was not over capacity. The Juneau Police Department added that camping concerns were minimized during the shelter’s operation.

Ciambor will also discuss prevention and precautions that will need to be addressed to ensure the shelter runs more smoothly next year. Some of the goals include: prepping service teams in October and November, training team members on alcohol and overdose recognition and recognizing whether a person is actually homeless.

The COW will also receive an annual report from the Utility Advisory Board and hear from JPD on recruitment and retention.

Finance Committee continues budget work

The CBJ Finance Committee will begin working on items previously moved to the “pending list” for consideration in the city’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget during its meeting at Assembly Chambers at 5 p.m. Thursday.

One item in particular that will be discussed is funding in the amount of $250,000 for Eaglecrest Ski Area to purchase a snow-making machine. During the April 11 committee meeting, Eaglecrest General Manager was asked to provide more information on the longevity of the machine and how quickly the machine would pay for itself through tickets and season passes.

The committee will also hear a presentation from Best Starts for Juneau Kids and respond to a funding request from the Juneau Commission on Aging.


• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at gphilson@juneauempire.com or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.


More in News

A Princess Cruise Line ship is docked in Juneau on Aug. 25, 2021. (Michael Lockett / Juneau Empire File)
Ships in Port for the week of Aug. 14

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

This October 2020 photo shows the MV Kennicott. The Alaska Marine Highway System's winter ferry schedule is now available for review. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Winter ferry schedule available for review

Comments now being accepted.

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski wait for an opportunity to talk to her at her newly Juneau campaign headquarters Thursday evening at Kootznoowoo Plaza. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Murkowski opens up at Juneau HQ debut

Senator chats with supporters about U.S. vs. Belgium voting, moose chili and Project Veritas

(Juneau Empire File / Michael Penn)
Police calls for Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

U.S. Senate candidate Shoshana Gungurstein stars in a campaign sign within view of the Alaska governor’s mansion. Gungurstein, an independent, got exposure this week for being a Hollywood actress under a different last name after questions about her past went unanswered throughout the campaign. She is one of 19 candidates seeking to be among the four selected in next Tuesday’s primary to compete in the November general election. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Senate candidate sheds more light on background

Shoshana Gungurstein responds at length to recent report on past film career.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Drug arrest made in Skagway

Police say a suspicious package was intercepted.

This late-April photo shows a damaged sticker on a door at Thunder Mountain High School reminding people to social distance and wear masks inside the building. Masks will not be required in school buildings this year. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

No mandatory masks or COVID-19 tests for new school year

Most Read