Housing First sets grand opening date

In this file photo from May 2017, organizers take a tour of the Housing First rooms near completion. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Though it’s a bit later than planned, the Housing First Collaborative project has set a date for its grand opening.

 

Originally scheduled to open in July, the facility will hold a grand opening ceremony Sept. 13. The project will provide housing and care for 32 of Juneau’s most vulnerable residents, focused on helping chronically homeless individuals.

Residents will arrive to the facility in waves, with the first group scheduled to move in on Sept. 15. Housing First, located in the Lemon Creek area, will provide meals, case management, employment resources and on-site medical care focused on behavioral health and substance abuse treatment.

The project, which is five years in the making, ended up costing $8.2 million. Much of it was funded with grants and donations. The City and Borough of Juneau initially gave $1.5 million to Housing First before pledging another $1.8 million over the course of the past year and a half.

Along with the housing portion of the project, Juneau Alliance for Mental Health, Inc. (JAMHI) will run a community clinic on the first floor of the community. The clinic will include primary care and mental health care, and intends on including a dental suite and a pharmacy in the future. JAMHI CEO Dave Branding said in a release his organization is looking to help the most vulnerable Juneau residents.

“Through an integrated health practice, we can help the community reduce the overall health care cost burden by fewer people requiring emergency services and people, over time, becoming healthier,” Branding said.

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