The Glory Hole Homeless Shelter is considering a move to the Mendenhall Valley in order to turn its downtown location into a vehicle for a consistent revenue stream.
In December, the City and Borough of Juneau announced that a former Juneau Youth Services building on Hurlock Avenue near the airport was going up for sale. City officials wanted applicants to have a community service in mind, hoping that childcare, healthcare or social service agencies would apply to buy the building.
Six organizations applied, including the Glory Hole. Interim Director Kyle Hargrave said the application was sent in more to keep the option open than to commit to a plan.
“This is extremely preliminary stages,” Hargrave said. “The application is more conceptual.”
The application states that the Glory Hole would move its shelter to the Hurlock Avenue location, and then rent out its current spot on Franklin Street to a restaurant or another kind of business. The Glory Hole, founded in 1982, has a full kitchen and two levels in its current location.
Hargrave said that Executive Director Mariya Lovischuk (who returns Feb. 1 after taking an extended break) spends a great deal of her time filling out grant applications or fundraising to keep the shelter operating. If the downtown location can generate regular revenue, Hargrave said, Lovischuk and her staff can spend more time doing community outreach instead of raising money.
Glory Hole board members toured the facility, located at 9290 Hurlock Ave., and understand that there will need to be some work done to make the building suitable for the shelter’s needs. They don’t yet have an estimate on how much they might spend on renovations, Hargrave said. That would come later in the process if city officials choose to more seriously consider the application.
The board members are fairly split on the issue, Hargrave said, and they plan to reach out to the community soon in order to gauge the community interest in where the shelter should be.
Five other organizations also applied: Alaska Legacy Partners, an assisted living facility for seniors; Aunt Margaret’s House, a halfway house and seasonal housing agency; Gehring Nursery School, for preschool childcare; Polaris House, a mental healthcare service; and Prama Home Inc., which combines preschool education, senior care and services for homeless youth.
A memo from CBJ Lands Manager Greg Chaney identified Polaris House as “the best fit,” but the Lands and Resources Committee with further consider the applications at its meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.