Some situations don’t have simple solutions.

Homelessness, for example.

Even in a community of Ketchikan’s relatively small size and largeness of heart, resolving homelessness isn’t as straightforward as a few quick policy decisions and some funding. While sound policy coupled with adequate resources can help alleviate some of the immediate need, the sheer number of economic, societal and personal factors that can be involved suggests that a full resolution to homelessness is beyond our reach.

But try we must.

We’re fortunate that Ketchikan continues to have compassion within local government, nonprofit organization, churches and other community members who work to meet local needs. Ketchikan truly accomplishes much. And because the provision of assistance is improved through understanding and cooperation, it’s good to see the recent completion of the 2020 Ketchikan Homelessness Assessment.

Funded by a federal CARES Act grant received by Women In Safe Homes through the City of Ketchikan and completed in cooperation with First City Homeless Services, Park Avenue Temporary Home and other local entities, the assessment provides a view of the demographics, health needs and experiences of individuals who were homeless during the year prior to the assessment period.

The information provides insights regarding the circumstances involving homelessness here in Ketchikan. They’re not easy insights, but they can well inform the community’s efforts to meet the needs that exist.

We appreciate the initiative that it took to accomplish the assessment, and hope that all with an interest in assisting can spend some time with the results to gain more of an understanding of homelessness in Ketchikan.