A local nonprofit that aids families struggling with homelessness received a special honorarium from the Alaska Legislature on Sunday.
Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, presented a legislative citation to Family Promise of Juneau during a fundraiser at Chapel by the Lake Sunday, to raise public awareness of the organization.
“We are really grateful for Rep. Story, for her acknowledging us and grateful for her continued support,” Katherine Carlson, executive director for Family Promise of Juneau, said in a phone interview Monday. “It really shows that the community is aware of us and will continue to help us on the journey.”
Family Promise is part of a nationwide network, and in the two years the local affiliate has operated, it has helped 20 families move on to stable housing from their program, according to the organization. Family Promise works with a network of organizations, mostly religious congregations, that help provide food and shelter to families while they’re working to get into more permanent housing.
“There’s a lot of families couch surfing and the definition of homelessness is scattered,” Carlson said. “Who is homeless depends on which agency you’re dealing with.”
She added, “Family homelessness is not seen as much. If people don’t see them in the community, they think they don’t exist,” she said.
Alaska legislators are allowed to issue up to 10 legislative citations a year. The citation is purely ceremonial and comes with no special status or monetary award. Story said that it was difficult to choose one particular organization but Family Promise “deserved to be recognized.”
“It’s really a pertinent issue,” Story told the Empire. “It’s a group of organizations coming together … an organization that came alongside families and worked with them. They had some really positive outcomes.”
A legislative citation must be submitted and voted on by both houses of the Legislature. According to the state website, “appropriate instrument for expressing commendation, condolences, appreciation or congratulations to an individual or a group, or to recognize a particular event or occasion.”
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