Juneau’s homeless shelter and soup kitchen will likely soon own some new property.
Glory Hall campaigned throughout August to raise $300,000 by Sept. 1 to secure land in the Mendenhall Valley near the Juneau International Airport. Mariya Lovishchuk, Glory Hall executive director, said in a phone interview Saturday the sum was reached.
“I don’t have a total, but it was a little bit over,” Lovishchuk said. “Next, we buy the land. Then, we start raising money to build the building.”
The idea behind securing the land is that it could be used to build a more spacious and secure shelter and allow Glory Hall to move out of its downtown Juneau location. Lovishchuk did not yet know of a closing date for the desired property near Teal Street and Alpine Avenue.
Lovishchuk has said the new facility would provide Glory Hall patrons with additional privacy and secure storage, cost less to maintain and allow the shelter’s current home to turn into a revenue stream for Glory Hall.
However, some critics characterize the move as intentionally displacing the homeless from a high visibility area and said the move would inconvenience patrons.
Lovishchuk said the move is meant to provide a better environment for the patrons and noted the Glory Hall’s shuttle currently makes frequent trips to the Mendenhall Valley, and it may be less used if the move happens. The shuttle would continue to operate and transport patrons after a move, Lovishchuk said.
Most of the donations that helped Glory Hall reach its goal were from private individuals, Lovishchuk said, but she said Avista Foundation and the Benito and Frances C. Gaguine Foundation made “big splashes.”
However, she would not say exactly how much was contributed.
Lovishchuk said she had a hard time believing the fundraising goal was reached.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” Lovishchuk said.
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.