Housing First is a homeless assistance approach that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life. This approach is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before attending to anything less critical, such as getting a job, budgeting properly, or attending to substance use issues.
The project will follow Housing First principles, including:
The Anchorage-based firm Agnew::Beck Consulting published a report (see below) on how Housing First could be implemented in Sitka. As part of their research, they studied similar Housing First initiatives across the US, and conducted extensive interviews with local stakeholders, including the Baranof Island Housing Authority, the City of Sitka, the Salvation Army, Sitka Counseling + Prevention, and more. The team reviewed potential funding sources and programs, and developed preliminary estimates of costs to construct and operate the project.