Anchorage's homeless coordinator Nancy Burke is scrambling to find beds for people experiencing homelessness. She estimates the city could use an additional 100 beds, a situation getting direr, considering the colder temperatures Anchorage has experienced recently.
The problem intensified last week when Bean's Cafè announced it could no longer accept overnight guests. For years, the Cafe functioned as an overflow shelter in the winter. But Director Lisa Sauder said the non-profit recently lost its insurance coverage, and the Board of Directors decided it was no longer possible to function as a part-time shelter.
"It really is kind of outside our mission, which is primarily focusing on the hunger component and making sure people are fed and referred to services," said Sauder. "We did it, it was great, but it's not something we can maintain forever, we just don't have the resources to do that."