City Struggles To Locate Winter Lodging for the Homeless

( — The city of Anchorage, Alaska, is facing a crisis regarding the city’s homeless population. Anchorage currently has over 3,000 residents without shelter and is seeking a solution to the homelessness problem before winter arrives. The city used a sports arena as a mass shelter, but the shelter closed after neighbors complained and those residing within misbehaved. Following the shelter’s closure, Anchorage’s mayor, Dave Bronson, failed to find an alternative solution due to disagreements with liberal officials serving on the city council. The failure to find a solution is causing alarm amongst Alaskan residents, who worry that many homeless citizens will die during the exceptionally cold winter season. The Anchorage Assembly approved $4 million in funds to combat homelessness. Still, many feel the funds won’t be enough to provide a satisfactory solution.

Bronson suggested a potential solution to homelessness, which would’ve involved paying for one-way plane tickets to send homeless citizens to warmer climates ahead of the colder seasons. Despite Bronson’s suggestion, his administration never attained the funding required to pay for the airliner tickets, indicating that his solution is doubtful to materialize. The Alaskan Legislature also failed to provide an alternative shelter for the state’s homeless and denied a $25 million proposal to establish a permanent homeless shelter within Alaska. The ongoing crisis is alarming many residents within Alaska, as a record number of people died from exposure during the colder months last year.

Bronson’s proposal provided homeless Alaskans with a potential solution, but many residents within the state claim the plan fails to provide a long-term solution to the homelessness crisis in Alaska. Currently, a plan to provide shelter to thousands of homeless people isn’t available, raising concerns about more deaths from exposure and potential bear attacks at homeless camps. Without a permanent shelter for the homeless or a method of transporting them to a better climate, it seems likely that many will suffer or even die during the upcoming winter. Bronson assures residents that his administration works diligently to solve the looming crisis, but a permanent solution seems unlikely.

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