WISH to be Awarded $704,569 Grant from AHFC
KETCHIKAN, Alaska, Nov. 18, 2020 - To address increased needs and challenges of serving Ketchikan’s at- risk and homeless population during the COVID-19 crisis, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation announces the award of a federally-funded grant that will help Women In Safe Homes renovate a new shelter for families and individuals experiencing domestic violence/ sexual assault and offer a rapid rehousing and homeless prevention program to the community at large.
“As winter sets in and temperatures drop, it is critical for AHFC to be able to support nonprofits that provide essential housing services to keep at-risk Alaskans and those impacted by loss of income due to COVID-19 safe and warm,” said AHFC CEO/Executive Director Bryan Butcher. “These grants will enable WISH, with assistance from the City of Ketchikan, to offer a way out for survivors of domestic violence/sexual assault while also addressing homeless prevention in a community whose economy is experiencing significant hits.”
COVID-19 restrictions have reduced WISH’s bed count at its emergency shelter from 32 to 15 and forced the organization to suspend its ability to accept homeless individuals and families.
Ketchikan does not have a shelter dedicated for homeless families but in partnership with the city, WISH is renovating the former Ketchikan Regional Youth Facility. The funding from AHFC will remove the need for WISH to sell its current shelter and enable it to offer additional shelter services. $400,000 will be used to operate a rapid rehousing/homeless prevention program that could support up to 33 families for up to six months.
“Ketchikan's economy is seasonal, with the majority of citizens working April through September. The loss of the tourist season, coupled with a poor fishing season, has left many families and individuals in a precarious financial position. Access to ESG-CV funding will provide a bridge for some of these families to get them
through to the next tourism and fishing season,” said WISH Executive Director Agnes Moran. “Ketchikan has not had this type of funding before and we are thrilled to be able to provide access to safe and stable during these challenging times.”
To qualify for the grant that was part of $5 million awarded statewide, WISH provided AHFC with several certifications of compliance, budget worksheets, explanation for how the funds will be used and proof of need. WISH staff will manage the grant while the City of Ketchikan will oversee the renovation of the youth facility.
About AHFC: Alaska Housing Finance Corporation is a public corporation providing Alaskans access to safe, quality and affordable housing through residential financing, energy efficiency, public housing and more.
Since 1986, Alaska Housing has contributed more than $2.1 billion to the State of Alaska.
Contact: Kalinda Kindle
Communications Specialist, governmental relations and public affairs