Community grants helping Juneau charities to expand

Center for seniors, apartments for the homeless are in the works

Posted: Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Community grants are bringing two local charities closer to launching projects several years in the making.

Catholic Community Services expects to open a new adult day care facility in January or February with the help of a $378,000 grant.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society will renovate its thrift-store floor space into seven apartments for low-income families in February with a $500,000 grant.

The Community Development Block Grants are federal dollars given to the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, which gives the money to cities for charitable needs.

Both Juneau charities were awarded the grants more than a year ago. As part of receiving the grants, the Juneau Assembly must host two public hearings on the worthiness of the projects.

At Monday's Assembly meeting, no one offered any comments. The grants do not need further approval from city officials.

St. Vincent de Paul's, located behind the Nugget Mall, will add to its 25 apartment units used by homeless families with children. The average stay for a family is three to six months, general manager Dan Austin said.

About 90 families use the shelter each year and 20 families are on the waiting list, he said.

"A lot of people don't realize that (homelessness in Juneau) has not gotten better," Austin said. "It's gotten worse."

The seven new units are planned for the thrift store's floor space, while the merchandise will move into the charity's administration offices on the first floor. The offices will move upstairs to make room for the new sales floor.

Austin expects the new apartments to be finished by early summer.

"It's very attractive for single parents," he said.

The units will be one- and two-bedroom apartments with rent from $700 to $800. Housing subsidies up to $500 will be available to applicants, Austin said.

Also included will be an on-site child-care program and a job-search center.

St. Vincent de Paul will relocate its thrift store to a new community center planned near the existing building, which also will house several Juneau nonprofit organizations. Construction for the center is slated for September, Austin said.

Catholic Community Services purchased the former Johnson Home property on 12th Street in 2003 to house an expansion of its adult day-care center, which will increase the number of clients from 18 to 30.

The home focuses on the mental health of seniors suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease by providing an environment that promotes healthy lifestyles and provides activities that stimulate the mind.

The renovation of the facility is complete and the program moved in Dec. 10. The organization's director, Rosemary Hagevig, said it will have an open house for the public next month or in February.



CONTACT US

  • Switchboard: 907-586-3740
  • Circulation and Delivery: 907-586-3740
  • Newsroom Fax: 907-586-3028
  • Business Fax: 907-586-9097
  • Accounts Receivable: 907-523-2230
  • View the Staff Directory
  • or Send feedback

ADVERTISING

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES

SOCIAL NETWORKING