Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Covenant House - East Downtown

As seen from the corner of 8th and A.
I drive down A Street into Downtown Anchorage on a regular basis and thus immediately noticed the demolition of an old Salvation Army chapel and the erection of a sign showing a rendering of what was to be built in its place. Going at 35 mph, it's kinda hard to read what exactly was being built, but the quick glance I was able to get of the building made me think maybe it was new office space. A few days later I walked up to the sign to get an actual reading of what was going up only to learn of the grim news. Yes, Covenant House, the shelter for homeless runaway youth, is at full capacity and needs a new, larger home. Like the Neighborhood Clinic being built in Midtown (see earlier post), the new Covenant House apparently also needs more financial donations ($2M more) in order for the project to meet its completion. Among the top contributors so far for the project is First National Bank Alaska, the Gillam Foundation, and the Rasmuson Foundation. In seeking continued financial support, Covenant House has also launched a campaign called Our House is Full along with the website Construction is taking place on the block bordered by A Street, Barrow Street, 7th, and 8th Avenue. If there's any bright spot to this new development, it's that the Covenant House will be located away from the more healthier west-end of Downtown. It seems over the years Town Square Park has become a haven for troubled youth, and it's safe to say that the location of the Covenant House right across the street from the park was a major factor in contributing to the erosion of the parks attractiveness. We'll be following up on this project as it continues its progress.

Demolition of the old building.


Adam said...

Also wonder what will go into the current Covenant House location downtown across from the park strip. That is an amazingly prime location in the heart of downtown.

clark said...

in some ways i wish they had stuck with the location and built up. if those kids were causing a problem at town square, better to work with them, rather than shunt them off toward fairview -- out of sight, out of mind. just continues to play into the idea that all social service agencies must be located either in mt view, fairview or the u-med area. and the so-called 'good' parts of town have no obligation to host anything they don't like. [sorry for the attitude problem!]