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Covenant House Alaska, which began as a Catholic outreach for Anchorage’s homeless and run-away youth – ages 13 to 24 – has rejected core moral tenets of its faith-based roots in favor of facilitating abortions, imposing strict LGBTQ mandates on staff and young clients and supporting sexual “transitions” for gender-confused youth.

Nearly 40 years ago, late Anchorage Archbishop Francis Hurley invited the national Covenant House organization to consider establishing a site in Anchorage to minister to the growing population of homeless youth. Hurley helped negotiate a faith-based partnership with the city, and in 1988 Covenant House Alaska opened its doors.

Located in downtown Anchorage, the outreach has enjoyed longstanding support from area Catholics. Parish youth groups, Catholic volunteers, local clergy and many others have donated countless hours and considerable money over the past four decades.

Covenant House Alaska CEO Alison Kear

In fact, earlier this year, Covenant House Alaska CEO Alison Kear said 90% of the Anchorage site’s funding comes from Alaskans. The organization spends about $10.8 million annually with more than $7 million going to staff salaries and “related expenses.”

“The community has stepped up and taken control of the situation at hand,” Kear said in February. “Together, we are actively working to end the experience of youth homelessness in Alaska.”

While Covenant House has provided needed shelter and safety to countless youth since its founding, what many donors and volunteers may not know is that the organization also helps youth procure abortions, while mandating that staff and homeless youth acknowledge and enable a vast array of LGBTQ gender identities and expressions.

The organization’s involvement with abortion came to light in late August when a longtime pro-life sidewalk counselor, Wendy Perkins, was praying outside the Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Anchorage. She told the Alaska Watchman that she saw a Covenant House vehicle pull up and deliver a young woman to the abortion clinic.

“The Covenant House staff member got out, and in a determined way assertively escorted the girl directly into the clinic in such a way to purposely ensured the young women could not receive any life-affirming hope,” Perkins recounted. “I could not believe my eyes. It was like witnessing your church van delivering the youth to go kill their children.”

Like many Catholic institutions, Covenant House has gradually drifted from its religious roots.

Perkins, under the impression that Covenant House operated as a faith-based outreach, contacted the organization to find out what their policy was with regard to facilitating abortions for young women.

She said a staffer explained that Covenant House does not strictly adheres to Catholic moral teaching.

“My mind went racing, I couldn’t believe this! I was under the impression that this was a wonderful righteous Catholic organization,” Perkins said. “It turns out I wasn’t alone in my assumption. Nearly everyone in my circle presumed the same.”

Perkins said the staff person told her that Covenant House now routinely takes young women to Planned Parenthood for abortions.

The Watchman made repeated attempts to contact Covenant House for more details, but the organization has refused to comment.

Facilitating abortion is strictly forbidden according to Catholic teaching, which views it tantamount to enabling the murder of a pre-born baby.

Perkins is deeply disturbed by the direction the organization has chosen, and she believes those who support the Covenant House should know where it stands.

“Covenant House has now become an enemy of life,” she said. “They are more affiliated with Planned Parenthood than they are affiliated with the Catholic Church.”

Covenant House is an independent nonprofit and is not officially under the control of the Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau, but the national organization was founded in the 1970s by Catholic clergy in New York. From there it has expanded to 34 cities across six countries.

According to the policy, every staff member and client must be treated as the gender they claim to be, “regardless of whether they are “perceived to ‘pass’ as the gender with which they identify.”

When Archbishop Hurley invited the group to Alaska, it was part of a concerted effort on the behalf of local Catholics to helped expand the faith-based outreaches and services to Alaska’s poor and vulnerable. This included Catholic Social Services, the Brother Francis Shelter and Clare House for women and children.

In Alaska, as in areas across the nation, Covenant House has long enjoyed widespread support from local Catholics. It has been regularly mentioned in the official Catholic newspaper of the Anchorage-Juneau Archdiocese as a worthy Catholic charity to support, and area parishes have provided a vast array of financial and human resources.

Covenant House’s mission statement still references “God’s providence,” and the organization claims to be a “visible sign that effects the presence of God, working through the Holy Spirit among ourselves and our kids.”

But like many Catholic institutions, it has gradually drifted from its religious roots. Sister Mary Rose McGeady led the organization from 1990 to 2003, when Covenant House still largely adhered to its historic faith-based mission. Over the past two decades, however, things have changed.

In addition to facilitating abortions, the Anchorage branch now prominently celebrates LGBTQ Pride Month, and in 2021 the national organization approved a new LGBTQ policy for all sites, including curriculum updates, LGBTQ webinars and staff training to ensure “buy-in at all levels.”

According to the policy, every staff member and client must be treated as the gender they claim to be, “regardless of whether they are “perceived to ‘pass’ as the gender with which they identify.”

In all personal interactions, written and verbal communications staff are required to use a youth’s preferred pronouns. This includes referring to gender-confused males as “she/her” and gender confused females as “he/him.” Likewise, all youth are to be allowed to dress in accordance with whichever gender they personally identify, even if this changes over time.

The policy mandates that males “who identify as female” and who desire to be housed with biological females are “to be housed with females and use the female bathrooms. “Transgender females shall have the same access to bathrooms and bedrooms as persons assigned female at birth,” the policy states. The same applies to gender-confused females who believe they are actually male.

“Under no circumstances will a TGNC (transgender non-conforming) person be required to use alternative facilities, including as an ‘accommodation’ for another person’s discomfort,” the policy clarifies. It adds that youth who don’t feel safe sleeping or using the same intimate facilities as those of the opposite sex should be sent to an “alternative space” if such an option is available.

If a youth expresses concerns, fears or objections about sharing intimate spaces with a member of the opposite sex, the policy directs staff to “immediately intervene” and explain that gender-confused youth are “not a threat to them and that they should be respectful of all youth’s right to access residential and program services.”

The policy affirms the use of cross-sex hormones for youth who desire to “transition” to another sex, stating that “Covenant House will treat hormones that belong to transgender youth as any other medication and will not consider them a prohibited substance nor confiscate them.”

Similarly, the policy explains that “Covenant House will treat chest binding and packers belonging to transgender youth as extensions of that person’s body and will not consider them a prohibited items nor confiscate them.”

Failure to abide by these directives are to “result in disciplinary action,” the policy mandates.

Like the abortion protocols, facilitating gender-confusion is deeply contrary to Catholic moral teaching.

While the Catholic Church calls for respect of those with homosexual inclination, it has long taught that homosexual tendencies are “objectively disordered” and homosexual acts “can never be approved.”


— Click here to contact Covenant House Alaska.

— Click here to see who sits on the Covenant House Alaska board of directors.

— Click here to see who serves on the Covenant House Alaska executive team.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Losing faith? Covenant House now supports abortion, sexual ‘transition’ for homeless Alaska youth

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.