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October 28, 2009

Alaska: Lutheran Social Services to help homeless people


"Anchorage organizations pay to fly homeless back home," a news piece from KTVA, a CBS TV affiliate in Anchorage, describes how Lutheran Social Services is fighting homelessness in that city. Working with Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Lutheran Social Services is helping Alaska Natives who come to Anchorage for work or medical services, but end up living on the streets when those opportunities end. The groups provide transportation (costing anywhere from $200 to $500) back to difficult-to-access villages, and ensure that returnees have safe places to stay in those villages.

CITC says many Alaskan Natives move to the big city and do not anticipate how much it costs to get started, like first and last months rent, deposits, other expenses like transportation and monthly bills. That was a reason why CITC partnered with Lutheran Social Services to buy Alaskans a one way ticket back home. But the tickets are not without strings attached.

"By all means, we don't want to take people off the street and send them home. We want to make sure they have a safe environment to go back to and that they are ready for that," said CITC chief financial officer Amy Fredeen.

 Read the entire piece here

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