SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Governor's Funding Cuts Will Result With Children Losing Early Educ Services & People Losing Supportive Housing Says RurAL CAP



July 03, 2019
Wednesday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - According to Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc., more than 220 children statewide will lose vital early education and more than 500 people will lose supportive housing services currently provided by the RurAL CAP, a statewide nonprofit, as a result of the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2020 state budget.

“More than one-third of our Head Start facilities will close,” said Kristin Ramstad, RurAL CAP Child Development Division Director. “This will cut crucial services from children and their families throughout the state.”

According to RurAL CAP, the Fiscal Year 2020 state budget cuts result in nearly a $5.5 million reduction in funding to essential programming and staff positions provided by the agency statewide.

Impacts of the budget cuts spread from the termination of services that support low-income children and their families to the closure of additional supportive housing facilities, Safe Harbor and Sitka Place. These facilities offer services to individuals and families suffering from chronic homelessness, mental illness and physical disabilities in the Anchorage area. Children, families and individuals in supportive housing have access to 24/7 tenancy support, case management, skill development and clinical services for substance abuse treatment, therapy and behavioral health assessments.

The cuts in these services result in the elimination of staff positions for direct care and support services statewide, ultimately terminating more than 80 existing jobs between the Child Development and Supportive Housing Divisions and further weakening the economy of rural Alaska according to RurAL CAP.

“Gov. Dunleavy’s prioritization of corrections funding, expanding the number of prison beds, is short-sighted,” said Patrick M. Anderson, RurAL CAP Chief Executive Officer. “We already know that access to early childhood education and academic engagement is linked to reduced rates of delinquency, violence and crime.”

The state budget overlooks the economic benefit of prevention and health and wellness services. The decision to defund critical community services will undercut our community’s efforts to protect vulnerable populations and particularly impacts children and rural Alaskans, according to Anderson.

The Southeast Alaska service region of RurAL CAP contains the rural areas of Haines Borough, Hoonah-Angoon Census Area, Juneau city and Borough, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Petersburg Census Area, Prince of Wales-Hyder Census Area, Sitka City and Borough, The Municipality of Skagway, Wrangell City and Borough and Yakutat City and Borough.

RurAL CAP currently operates the following programs targeting low-income families in the Southeast Alaska region:

  • Head start in Haines, Kake and Ketchikan
  • Parents as Teachers in Haines and Kake
  •  Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
  •  State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Home Modification for person’s with physical disabilities.
  • RurAL CAP AmeriCorps member engaging youth in tobacco prevention and limiting tobacco litter.
  • Resilient Alaska Youth (RAY) Members services.
  • Resource Basket to support rural Alaska Native youth
  • Elder Mentors to support children’s education and cultural awareness

For the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2018, RurAK Cap's Sources of total funds were reported as $38,052,676. Of that total, federal funds were over $17 million with State of Alaska funding at almost $6 million.

Rural Energy Enterprises (REE) was one source of funding contributing $9,141,755 in non profit funding to the RurAL Cap program. Rural Energy Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of RurAL CAP and is a wholesale distributor of energy-efficient and money-saving products. REE began in 1987 after receiving a federal grant to evaluate the feasibility of engaging in energy-related for-profit activity. (For details download the 2018 Annual Report.(pdf)

RurAL CAP reported in 2018 that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) was used to acquire and develop 325 East 3rd Avenue and Muldoon Garden. These two properties provide permanent supportive housing and affordable housing, respectively, to low-income individuals and families in Anchorage. The number of housing units was not in the report.

Other Affordable Housing properties purchased by RurAL CAP in Anchorage includes:

Learn more about RurAL CAP's Affordable Housing properties in Anchorage:

Learn More about RurAL CAP's Supportive Housing properties in Anchorage:

Statewide Housing Highlights in September 2018 Report (Click here for report)

  • 134 homes were weatherized throughout Alaska
  • Provided homeless outreach services to 1,693 individuals
  • 11 Mutual Self-Help Housing homebuyers moved into their homes in the Swift Water Landing I subdivision in Soldotna
  • 83% of permanent supportive housing tenants retained housing for one year or more
  • Provided 374 adults and 148 children with supportive housing
  • 42 homes were improved for seniors and persons with disabilities
  • Provided technical assistance and project oversight to 16 self-help homebuyers in Soldotna
  • Provided 58 adults and 37 children in 53 units of affordable housing

Statewide Community Development Division Highlights 2018 (Click here for report)

  • 255 youth and more than 100 adults participated in learning experiences organized by Resilient Alaska Youth (RAY) AmeriCorps members
  • Elder Mentor volunteers helped 177 kindergarten-12th grade students improve their math and literacy skills
  • 60 people engaged in substance abuse prevention and wellness education at the Rural Providers’ Conference in Tanacross
  • 275 individuals from 49 communities benefitted from the Resource Basket’s training and technical assistance services offered to tribes and supported by the US Department of Justice
  • 18 VISTA members provided a service training to more than 418 low- income Alaskans
  • 188 youth participated in Youth Development and Culture Grant Programs in 14 rural communities
  • 8 Youth Encouraging Alaskan’s Health Teen Ambassador Leaders from 6 communities agreed to fulfill a one-year commitment as a Teen Ambassador to help lead and facilitate tobacco prevention activities and awareness in their communities

Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. is a statewide program governed by a 24-member Board of Directors representing the public sector, the private sector, and the different regions of rural Alaska.

RurAL CAP is an Anchorage-based private, statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with its mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing and direct services that respect Alaskan’s unique values and cultures.



On the Web:

2019-2021 Statewide Community Needs Assessment (6 month Update)
Rural Alaska Community Action Program

2018 Annual Report (Services & Financial Data)


Source of News:

Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc.



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