A mountain range over the Anchorage, AK skyline.

In Anchorage, Moving from Emergency Services to Preventative Supports

Public Sector Solutions, Health, Homelessness

IMPACT

76% reduction in shelter stays for Home for Good participants

Like in many places in the U.S., homelessness is an acute problem in Anchorage, Alaska. Hundreds of residents not only experience persistent homelessness, but also have complex behavioral and medical needs.

Without adequate support, unhoused people often require frequent emergency services. Unfortunately, these services can be costly and fail to address the underlying conditions that perpetuate the cycle.

Home for Good, an outcomes-based funding project between the Municipality of Anchorage, United Way of Anchorage, Social Finance, and additional partners, aims to break this cycle. Launched in 2020, this housing-first program seeks to help people experiencing persistent homelessness access permanent housing and supportive services, including medical and behavioral health care, job training, and intensive case management.

To date, the program has seen reductions in emergency service use across the board—to the tune of a 77% reduction in Anchorage Safety Center intakes, a 69% reduction in Anchorage Fire Department Emergency Medical Services transports, and a 76% reduction in shelter stays.

Housing stability and reductions in emergency service use are the metrics that show us the program is working. These reductions are a direct improvement in quality of life for participants, and they allow those emergency service resources to be used for other community needs.

Samantha Longacre

Project Director, Home for Good, United Way of Anchorage

Samantha Longacre headshot

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