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Twelve people who were homeless or familiar with life on the streets have died outdoors in Anchorage this spring and summer, most of them in woods and parks. Only one death has been classified as a homicide.

1) There are far more homeless than those living rough or in shelters.

2) The list for AHFC (Alaska Housing Finance Corp.) rental assistance or housing in Anchorage is 10 months long at least.

3) Even last December the state was bragging about all the jobs available [sic] bringing in many individuals and families from Outside directly to the shelters and “camping out”.

4) If a person has a cut artery or broken leg, they can be taken / go to the hospital for treatment. If a person has a psychological crisis, they cannot receive any treatment or support, even by going to a hospital. The only humane way is to have them arrested for “trespassing” which takes them to police HQ for someone to decide if they can go to the hospital. Otherwise, wait for the person in crisis to assault themselves or someone else, then call the police.

5) Inebriates do look after each other, in many cases. This past winter bus riders noticing someone fall or lying down on the pavement would alert the driver who calls community service patrol. Some will ask passersby to call CSP for themselves or their friends. This means that we can all be alert for those in trouble and be accessible for those seeking help. (CSP on speed dial)

6) CSP is a contract service and evidently only available from 2 PM to 10 (?) PM. They aren’t available in the early morning. Fortunately, Anchorage police, if possible, will respond to get people off the street during morning “rush” hour on icy streets.

7) Many homeless and street folks cannot get proper health care. In this country, medical care, Rx are rationed to those with money and knowledge of how to access health system. Or, to those with money and knowledge to force IHS and VA to provide competent service.

Previous posts–

  • Drug Saves Frostbitten Digits
  • Displaced person in Palin’s Alaska
  • Demonstrating health care reform in Anchorage, August 11 2009

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