Having reviewed the Jan. 24 letter sent to me from Hal Hart at the City and Borough of Juneau, I believe his department’s interpretation of Haven House Juneau is incorrect.
Haven House Juneau is neither a halfway house or a group home as stated in CBJ ordinance 49.80.1120. The reason being that the women who will reside in Haven House Juneau will not be serving a sentence for a criminal act. The women will have completed all of their obligations related to the Department of Corrections and would have been released into the community as citizens who have completed every legal aspect required of them. They are free to live anywhere with all their rights protected as any other citizen living in Juneau or anywhere else.
Haven House Juneau was developed as a safe shelter for women exiting prison so they could have a choice of living in a safe dwelling over the risk being homeless. Haven House Juneau is a volunteer, faith-based nonprofit developed in 2010 and governed by a nine member board of directors, which I chair.
It is my belief that we must act as responsible citizens to help those who need our help. As for me, I left a paying job to help establish Haven House Juneau as a fulltime volunteer Board President. I trust the community will continue to support Haven House Juneau today and into the future.
June I. Degnan, MLIS
Board Chair, Haven House