More

    Anchorage considers mandating that homeless seek shelter

    AlaskaWatchman.com

    The Anchorage Assembly will consider an emergency ordinance requiring all homeless residents to sleep in designated overnight shelters. The topic will be addressed at the April 14 Assembly meeting in response to community concerns that homeless camps may spread COVID-19.

    The proposed ordinance notes that constituents have contacted Assembly members to report encampments of homeless individuals “with tents erected wall to wall growing by the day.”

    The ordinance says Anchorage contains an estimated 1,100 unsheltered homeless people – “a vulnerable population that tends to suffer from weakened immune systems and underlying health conditions due to the harsh nature of street life.”

    Currently, the homeless are exempted from Mayor Ethan Berkowitz’s hunker down order mandating that residents stay home as much as possible during the health pandemic. If the Assembly passes its emergency measure, any overnight campsite in the city would be prohibited for 60 days.

    First time offenders would receive a warning with an order to relocate to a designated temporary shelter by 8 p.m. the following day. Those continuing to camp for a second consecutive night would be found in violation unless there were no available shelter beds in town.

    Violators could be charged with a class B misdemeanor. If the Assembly approves the measure, as written, it will go into effect at 5 p.m. on April 16.

    Due to COVID-19 concerns the Anchorage Assembly has issued guidelines on how to comment on proposed ordinances. Click here to learn more.

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Joel Davidson
    Joel Davidson
    Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 20 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.

    Share this article

    Related articles

    1 Comment

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Donate

    Alaska Watchman relies on the generous support of our readers. All donations go directly to supporting and expanding our news coverage. Please consider becoming a regular supporter.

    Select a Donation Option (USD)

    Enter Donation Amount (USD)

    Donate

    $
    Personal Info

    Donation Total: $100.00

    Stay Informed

    Receive breaking stories and analysis from the Alaska Watchman directly to your inbox for free.

    No spam ever. Guaranteed.

    Latest articles

    With Alaska’s chief justice to retire in 2021, judge selection process must be fixed

    Chief Justice Joel Bolger will retire from Alaska’s Supreme Court on June 30 next year, creating yet another vacancy on Alaska’s highest...

    Moving Gov. Dunleavy off the fence

    Gov. Mike Dunleavy has squandered his political capital and mandate through fits and starts. To be sure, he has faced unprecedented problems...

    Retired Lieutenant General to Alaska: Biden is coming for our guns

    With every passing day it appears more likely Joe Biden will become our next president. From the illegal vote counting, vote harvesting,...

    Alaska can solve budget crisis by ending unconstitutional appropriations

    “Defunding power cost equalization would gut a lifeline for rural Alaska” was published by ADN on Nov. 10. Meera Kohler expertly laid...

    News tips