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Alaska Catholic Charities assistance programs.

Several social services programs are available in Alaska from Catholic Charities and their partner organizations. Most of the services are for case management, counseling and referrals. However some limited amounts of housing and/or financial aid may be offered in a crisis and as a last resort.

Immigration Services and assistance for refugees is widely available. Catholic Charities is one of the nation's leading non-profits to offer these services and all resources provided are done so with the approval of the federal government.

The program, known as RAIS for short, provides a bridge for refugees and immigrants who are settling in Alaska. It will help them achieve success in the United States. The program will help clients in obtaining a high quality and self-sufficient lifestyle. It will ensure they have sustainable financial support and try to find a job for them. Catholic Charities will try to fulfill basic needs (such as food and housing) on a short term basis. A wide range of bilingual and bicultural services are available including job readiness classes, case management, and life skills orientation.

Short term housing is offered from the Anchorage Brother Francis Shelter. This can provide temporary, emergency shelter for women and men. In addition, the churches and charity will offer an evening meal, job readiness, use of shower and laundry facilities, case management, advocacy. Another key service is referrals for permanent housing, employment, mental health issues, and substance abuse treatment options.

Homeless teenagers in Alaska can receive support from Charlie Elder House. This resource helps homeless, troubled teenage boys live independently and achieve academic success. It will offer them counseling, case management, access to job training, and the ability to work with a social worker to find a long term solution.

Another transitional housing unit is Clare House. This location offers short term, temporary, emergency 24-hour shelter for expectant mothers and women with children. Residents of this particular shelter/housing unit will receive free daily meals. They can also get referrals for affordable, yet high quality child care and substance abuse/mental health programs. Clients will be able to find affordable permanent housing, continuing educational opportunities and employment programs. Case management services that are organized by Catholic Charities are an integral part of the housing assistance program and go a long way in helping women and children in their transition from homelessness to independent living.




Homeless Family Services can help prevent evictions, provide information on rental assistance and also help people secure emergency housing. It is also available for unsheltered families with children. The program can offer supportive, low income housing units consisting of four furnished units located in Government Hill. The disabled may also be able to take advantage of this program.

Staff and case managers from Homeless Family Services go to the families and the needy wherever they may be, whether that is a motel, camp site, or a car. Another focus is on veterans in Alaska. Assistance is offered for families and also single veterans. Receive a place to stay and assistance in applying for government housing and other public aid.

Financial assistance and food may be offered by St. Francis House. It relies heavily on donations and funding is limited. When possible this resource provides a 2-day emergency supply of free food and limited financial assistance for critical needs to those in need. Funds can be used to pay for expenses such as rent, energy bills, or medications. In addition, St. Francis House contains the largest food pantry in Anchorage and really anywhere in Alaska. The organization is a leader in the Anti-Hunger Movement and also works with other non-profits and churches. They can also help people apply for government commodities and food assistance such as food stamps.

Contact the main Catholic Charity center at 3710 E 20th Ave., Anchorage, Alaska 99508. Call (907) 222-7300. Services are available statewide.




By Jon McNamara

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