ENGAGE Projects

Karluk Manor
Karluk Manor is a 46-unit RurAL CAP housing residence located in downtown Anchorage. Itis the first Housing First facility in Anchorage. Housing First is a best practice whereby chronic inebriates are provided permanent housing as the first step to self-sufficiency and community reintegration. Housing First has been shown to increase the success rate of its residents for maintaining long-term housing and to reduce society's cost burden in providing services and emergency response. Life on the streets is a costly proposition. For individuals, homelessness exposes them to more: violence, time in harsh conditions, communicable diseases, and poorer nutrition/overall health. For society, the economic impact is enormous. Chronically homeless individuals disproportionately use emergency medical services, police and fire response,Community Service Patrol (CSP) pickups, the criminal justice system and social services.UAA students are hosting on-site evening or weekend activities for facility residents. In addition,residents have expressed great interest in off-site filed trips will occur 2-4 times during the semester such as a trip to the Alaska Native Heritage Center, sporting events, even on campus.As a result, this semester UAA students, in pairs, are providing cooking classes, arts/crafts, and movie/game night on a regular basis. These activities include creating a list of supplies for each session, coordination with agency staff to ensure supplies for each session are on hand and each event is marketed and scheduled on the agency's calendar along with a designated room.

Homeward Bound
The Homeward Bound program is a 25-bed transitional living facility located in Mountain View which houses individuals interested in seeking a way out of homelessness. RurAL CAP established its first Affordable Housing building in 2008 designed specifically for the special needs population with co-occurring disorders such as mental illness, physical, sensory, emotional or developmental disability, or chronic alcoholism. University students co-facilitate weekly activity therapy sessions for approximately 10-20 residents alongside a UAA ENGAGE Liaison.These activity therapy sessions focus around four primary themes: game night, arts & crafts,cooking/baking, and life skills (e.g., helping with resumes, mock interviews, helping create Facebook accounts, etc.). UAA students are encouraged to bring their own games and their own interests to the sessions, though the ENGAGE Liaison will assist with activity planning and execution.


UAA Projects

Karluk Manor - Community Perceptions and Relationship
Professor Sharon Chamard, of the Justice Department at UAA, is conducting a study of the effects of the Karluk Manor project in Fairview. Karluk Manor is a housing first project for chronic inebriates. Chamard is investigating whether this project increases or decreases the occurrences of disruptive public behavior due to concentrating this population in one area. This project involves observing the area before Karluk Manor is opened and periodically during its operation to note any changes in public behavior. Surrounding businesses will also be surveyed in order to collect information about the frequency of their interactions with inebriated people.

Mountain View Revitalization Needs Assessment
Professor Diane Hirshberg, along with one UAA student, conducted a survey of Mountain View residents at the request of the Anchorage Community Land Trust (ACLT). The survey was intended to collect feedback on their projects and efforts for revitalization implemented in Mountain View. The project was set up as a 4-credit independent study for the student and was extended into a Summer service project as well.


Community Projects

Project Homeless Connect
Project Homeless Connect is a one-day, one-stop event to provide housing, services, and hospitality in a convenient one-stop model directly to people experiencing homelessness in Anchorage. It is a way to bring service providers, government3/3/2011agencies, and the general community together to address a problem that affects everyone. The goal is to move from simply managing homelessness towards really ending it. This project allows from the community as well as UAA to volunteer. UAA student clubs like the Social Work Coalition provided great enthusiasm in volunteering this past January. Also associated is the service learning course, SWK 243, Cultural Diversity and Community Service, which offers its students to participate through volunteering.