A sign on the front door of the Glory Hall announces its daytime shelter closure on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. However, the shelter is now open from 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. in light of expectations of near-normal funding. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A sign on the front door of the Glory Hall announces its daytime shelter closure on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. However, the shelter is now open from 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. in light of expectations of near-normal funding. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Not as bad as expected: Juneau’s homeless shelter survives veto scare

A $147,500 loss was feared just a few days ago

Juneau’s homeless shelter and soup kitchen is on track to lose much less funding than it was a month ago.

Mariya Lovishchuk, Executive Director for Glory Hall, said when Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed a bill allocating a $1,600 Permanent Fund Dividend and making further budget cuts, Community Initiative Matching Grants were spared.

“We’re operating under the assumption we will be able to facilitate the grant,” Lovishchuk said in a phone interview.

The grant, which is provided by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, typically provides $50,000 annually to Glory Hall, Lovishchuk said. That money is primarily used to fund meals and keeping the shelter’s day room open.

The state’s Homeless Assistance Program generally provides about $97,500 in funding annually, Lovishchuk said. Initially, all $147,500 was included in Dunleavy’s vetoes, but all of the grant money and 80 percent of the homeless assistance money — $78,000 — is expected to come through this year after vetoes to the Legislature-approved capital budget.

Despite the $17,500 less in state funding, Lovishchuk said the Glory Hall will be open from 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m. and continue to provide emergency shelter.

[Vetoes could wipe out 20 percent of Glory Hall’s budget]

She said one lasting impact of the financial uncertainty that stemmed from budget vetoes unveiled by the governor in late June is staffing. Lovishchuk said Glory Hall lost two full-time employees and one part-time employee since the funding cuts were announced.

“We have not hired back the positions we lost,” Lovishchuk said.

That leaves just Lovishchuk, Deputy Director Chloe Papier and an AmeriCorps volunteer to run and oversee the Glory Hall. Lovishchuk said replacing those employees could take a while.

“It is going to be really difficult,” she said. “It’s really hard to find staff at the Glory Hall, and the staff we lost were really great. It will take a while to build up.”

[Why Glory Hall could be on the move]

Lovishchuk said the dramatic progress toward mostly normal levels of funding also leads to uncertainty about what level of support the state will provide in the future.

“It just makes me worry about next year, and the year after,” Lovishchuk said.


• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.


More in News

The Fairweather pulls up to the Auke Bay Terminal in June 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
State accepts bids for 2 fast ferries that faced struggles

The state Department of Transportation issued a public notice of the bidding process Thursday.

This is a police car.  It has always been a police car.
Police calls for Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020

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

Artist Rob Mullen stands on Long Trail, the country’s oldest long distance trail, in Manchester, Vt., on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Mullen was nearing the end of his 272-mile month-long hike down the length of Vermont, painting along the way. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)
Artist hikes nation’s oldest long-distance trail, painting along the way

He had planned to paddle in the Northwest territories of Canada. But then the pandemic hit.

The Juneau Police Department Community Service Officer waits as a vehicle is pulled out of the ditch at the intersection of Egan and Yandukin Drives near Fred Meyer on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities has announced five proposed alternatives to better manage traffic at the intersection. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
DOT presents 5 options for Fred Meyer intersection

Extensions? Traffic signals? Both?

Gov. Mike Dunleavy gives his State of the State address before a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Judge: Alaska governor used veto power to punish courts

A judge said Dunleavy’s vetoes violate the separation of powers doctrine.

Juneau Police Department Chief Ed Mercer, left, and Deputy Chief David Campbell, right, pose with Sgt. Nick Garza, center, for Garza's promotion to sergeant on Oct. 14, 2020. (Courtesy photo / JPD)
JPD officer promoted to sergeant

He has been with JPD since 2009.

U.S.Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend, a federal program to help cities combat violent crime, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in St. Louis. Barr also spoke via recorded message at the annual Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. (AP Photo / Jeff Roberson)
Alaska Natives, law enforcement affirm partnership against public safety crisis

Partnerships, tribal authority, and reliable funding cam help strangle this crisis.

Most Read