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JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — People who are homeless in Juneau can now access housing applications online, instead of picking one up at a physical location.
At a "Lunch and Learn" meeting at the Glory Hole homeless shelter and soup kitchen Wednesday afternoon, Glory Hole Outreach Coordinator Kiel Renick announced to patrons a new homeless advocacy website, homelessinjuneau.org. Previously, the site could be found only through the Juneau Economic Development Council website; the new standalone site is more user-friendly and accessible, Renick said.
There are also improved resources on the site, including downloadable applications for Tlingit and Haida Regional Housing Authority programs, the Alaska Housing and Finance Corporation Section 8 program and the Alaska Housing and Finance Corporation Senior and Disabled programs. The site gives people looking for a place to live the opportunity to access applications anywhere with an internet connection, he said. Some homelessness resources do not have downloadable applications; in those cases the contact information for each program is listed on the site.
There's also a more comprehensive list of church and health services and their contact information, Renick said. The website is a work in progress, he said, and feedback on how to make the site more usable can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Renick also announced the Juneau Homeless Coalition's new name: the Juneau Coalition on Housing and Homelessness. The name change was meant to "reflect that we do work on the housing side and care for people who are homeless," Renick said. The name is now less ambiguous and better encapsulates the coalition's mission, he said.
The organization also has a new logo. It was developed over the past few months and will be used to promote the coalition as a "visible and cohesive unit," he said.
The Front Street Clinic's future was another meeting topic, and garnered some comments from the group of people eating lunch during Renick's talk. The clinic's funding was pulled earlier this week by its parent organization, the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, and is scheduled to close Oct. 1, according to a previous Juneau Empire report. It provides health care to about 300 homeless and low-income Juneau residents.
Renick told the group that the coalition is working on a way to "maintain some element of community health" in Juneau.
"We're working on it as hard as we can," he said during the meeting. "See the providers you need to see, because the future is uncertain."
Front Street Clinic patient Charles Kreusel said after the meeting that he relies on the clinic for his dental health. If the clinic closes, he's just going to have to "do without," he said.
"I need an oral surgeon but they want half down up front," Kreusel said. "I'm going to have to borrow for the surgeon."
Roger Kley gets his prescriptions filled at the Front Street Clinic. With the clinic gone, he's worried he won't be able to get the medications he needs.
"That's the only way I get my prescriptions filled," Kley said. "A lot of people would say the same thing because they can't afford to pay for them."
Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, http://www.juneauempire.com