Army breaks ground for SAFE Place campus
Doing the Most Good- Alaska
McKinnell House, Cares for Kids prepare to relocate.
In a state that places significant value and investment on natural resources, The Salvation Army is reaffirming its commitment to help ensure Alaska’s social infrastructure is adequate to care for its most precious resource—people.
Culminating more than three years of planning, Salvation Army, city, federal and state officials recently gathered on a blustery Anchorage day to break ground on Phase I & II of the SAFE Place Campus.
One recent morning the phone almost rang non-stop at The Salvation Army McKinnell House. Shelter Director Nancy Strickland talked with each of the six families that phoned before 11:00 a.m., letting them know that all of the rooms were already occupied.
In the past year, 131 families sought shelter at McKinnell House, the only facility in Anchorage that provides shelter and supportive services for two-parent families and single parenting fathers. An additional 293 families were unable to receive services because of space limitations.
With an aging facility and no room to expand, the Anchorage Advisory Board identified increased capacity to care for homeless families as the Army’s most urgent need. Phase I will help address the problem with a new 16-unit emergency shelter. The Army’s Family Emergency Services program will share space in the building and a commercial kitchen will provide meals for clients at the campus, as well as an additional 400 hot nutritious meals delivered to vulnerable seniors in the community.
Cares for Kids
In addition to homelessness, Alaska has some of our nation’s highest rates of child abuse and neglect. This most often is a direct result of the acute rate of substance abuse. Phase II of the SAFE Campus will expand the Army’s Cares for Kids ministry, which offers safe haven to vulnerable children under the age of 11. Since opening its doors in 2002, more than 800 children have found shelter and comfort at Cares for Kids.