Local officials and dignitaries prepare to ceremonially break ground on the Teal Street Center, a multi-tenant building housing a number of nonprofit and tribal services for Southeast residents next to the Glory Hall on Nov. 2, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Local officials and dignitaries prepare to ceremonially break ground on the Teal Street Center, a multi-tenant building housing a number of nonprofit and tribal services for Southeast residents next to the Glory Hall on Nov. 2, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Nonprofit services center breaks groundGlory Hall holds grand opening

The Teal Street Center is scheduled to open its doors next autumn or winter.

The Teal Street Center, a hub for nonprofit and tribal organizations, broke ground Tuesday morning as the Glory Hall held a grand opening for the shelter, which has been in operation since the summer.

The center is expected to open in autumn or winter next year, said development director of Southeast Alaska Independent Living Sara Chapell, who’s also acting as campaign coordinator for the new center.

“This day has been a long time coming and it’s gratifying to see our tenants come together,” Chapell said in an interview.

The center will permanently house eight nonprofit organizations along with a permanent navigator from the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, a recent addition.

“It was so important to include Tlingit and Haida that we (SAIL) reduced our floor space on the ground floor,” Chapell said. “We tried to bring together organizations that cover a breadth of services.”

The three-story, 12,400 square foot building, which will hopefully begin construction this winter, Chapell said, will house permanent offices for SAIL, Alaska Legal Services, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Alaska, Cancer Connection, Disability Law Center of Alaska, National Alliance on Mental Illness/Juneau Suicide Prevention Coalition, Tlingit and Haida, United Way of Southeast Alaska, and United Human Services of Southeast Alaska, which is the umbrella organization for the center.

[Village president: Shooter surrendered in Kake, no injuries reported]

There are also conference rooms and open offices for other organizations who elected not to have permanent offices, such as Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association, the Southeast Regional Resource Center, Front Street Clinic and the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

“It’s been a long road of hard work and perseverance to bring us here today,” said Joan O’Keefe, executive director of United Human Services of Southeast Alaska and SAIL during the ceremony. “The Teal Street Center will be more than a building, it will be a hub of services.”

Multiple-tenant nonprofit centers are common and proven effective across the rest of the country, Chapell said. The Glory Hall and United Human Services of Southeast Alaska worked together to buy the land they will eventually both cohabit on.

“We bought the land together with SAIL to maximize the efficiency as much as possible,” said Glory Hall executive director Mariya Lovishchuk in an interview. “It’s been so amazing to work with Joan and the team there.”

That efficiency, alongside getting multiple tenants inside the center, will help lower rent for the tenants, allowing more resources to be allocated to their core missions of helping Alaskans. The building is currently about 70% funded, O’Keefe said, with $4.3 million from various sources, and a total goal of $6.5 million.

“In this day and age it’s a real trick, keeping nonprofits sustainable as overheads escalate,” Chapell said.

Chair of the Teal Street Center Campaign Committee Sioux Douglas speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Teal Street Center, a multi-tenant building housing a number of nonprofit and tribal services for Southeast residents next to the Glory Hall on Nov. 2, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Chair of the Teal Street Center Campaign Committee Sioux Douglas speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony for the Teal Street Center, a multi-tenant building housing a number of nonprofit and tribal services for Southeast residents next to the Glory Hall on Nov. 2, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

A grand opening

As the first shovelful of dirt pattered down with the groundbreaking, the Glory Hall opened its doors to show donors and community members the improved shelter, far removed from its previous home downtown.

“People are just feeling better than they were at the old facility. I feel great,” Lovishchuk said. “It certainly reduces the neighborhood conflict. It also reduces the inside-the-facility conflict. We’re seeing less conflict.”

A brand-new bus stop across the street from the Glory Hall provided by the city will reduce the need for guests of the shelter to walk through other parking lots, Lovishchuk said.

“When neighbors do have issues, we want to hear about them as quickly as we possibly can,” Lovishchuk said. “Together with neighbors, we can address issues as they come up.”

Removing the shelter from the crowded downtown, as well as the much larger and improved building, had drastically reduced the number of conflicts experienced by guests. Nevertheless, Lovishchuk said, if neighboring businesses and residents were having issues with patrons of the Glory Hall, they should call (907) 586-4159 so things could be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

A ceremony was held for break ground for the Teal Street Center, a multi-tenant building housing a number of nonprofit and tribal services for Southeast residents, as well as for the grand opening of the Glory Hall on Nov. 2, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

A ceremony was held for break ground for the Teal Street Center, a multi-tenant building housing a number of nonprofit and tribal services for Southeast residents, as well as for the grand opening of the Glory Hall on Nov. 2, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

“I don’t want to sugarcoat, it’s still an emergency center. People’s situations are still really hard,” Lovishchuk said. “But it is a huge improvement over the old building.”

The Glory Hall is ready for winter, Lovishchuk said.

“I think we’re ready,” Lovishchuk said. “With our partnership with AWARE and Family Promise and St. Vincent’s, I think we’re ready.”

The grand opening came at the end of a long road, Lovishchuk said, and while there’s always work to be done, it was a good day.

“It feels really good. It was really good to see everyone who contributed and who helped to be in one place after COVID,” Lovishchuk said. “It was really cool to see the dirt getting shoveled because we are so excited for the Teal Street Center to begin construction.”

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at 757-621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 8

Here’s what to expect this week.

Curtis Davis sharpens a spike at his makeshift campsite near Juneau International Airport on Sunday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
With no official place to camp, homeless and neighborhoods alike are suffering miseries

Complaints to JPD nearly double, social agencies seek “safety zone,” many campers just want peace.

Alaska Supreme Court Justice Peter Maassen receives applause from his fellow justices and members of the Alaska Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at the Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Gov. Dunleavy will be asked to pick fourth state Supreme Court justice

Applications being accepted to replace Peter Maassen, who reaches mandatory retirement age next year

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, June 10, 2024

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

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska ranked choice repeal measure wins first round of legal challenge, but trial awaits

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of a proposed… Continue reading

Juneau resident Ajah Rose Bishop, 21, suffered severe spinal injuries in a single-vehicle accident early Saturday morning. (GoFundMe fundraiser photo)
Woman breaks spine in single-vehicle collision on Egan Drive early Saturday morning

21-year-old Juneau resident medivaced to Anchorage, online fundraising effort underway.

Shannan Greene (left) and Sharyn Augustine hold signs on April 27 urging residents to sign recall petitions for Juneau Board of Education President Deedie Sorensen and Vice President Emil Mackey due to their roles in a budget crisis for the current fiscal year. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
School board recall petitions submitted; supporters of Saturday cruise ship ban need more signatures

Third initiative seeking to repeal default by-mail elections also has 10 days to get more signers.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Sunday, June 9, 2024

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

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Saturday, June 8, 2024

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

Most Read