The Anchorage Responsible Beverage Retailers Association (ARBRA) continues its mission to provide for a cleaner, greener, safe and secure city with compassion for those that have no other shelter than camping in the woods.
“It is not known exactly how many chronic and dually diagnosed homeless are currently residing in the Municipality of Anchorage,” said Jonath Rendon, ARBRA Program Director. “However, available statistics show that there is a population of chronic inebriates who either choose or simply have no other option than to live in the woods, even-through the coldest Alaskan winter months.”
Rendon said living in these harsh conditions is the starting grounds for other disadvantageous behaviors, such as substance abuse, alcohol abuse, and violence.
“The general response of the public to this unfortunate population of citizens, is to do everything possible to rid them from public view, almost to push them out of sight out of mind. ARBRA gives the homeless inebriates options to enhance their lives while giving back to the community with hopes to once again be a contributing member in our society.” said Rendon.
ARBRA’s Community Clean-Up Program provides resources to homeless Alaskans who may not have the means to become self-sufficient. ARBRA’s services in Anchorage include:
1. “Adopt-A-Park” – In 2004 ARBRA adopted eight municipal parks and makes its rounds and conducts cleanup as needed.
2. Participating in Community Council Meetings – ARBRA preps and attends evening community council meetings along with the main committee on homelessness that takes place in city hall.
3. Receiving Donated Items Through 907 Surplus – All donated items are received through ARBRA partner 907 Surplus, a military surplus store. ARBRA picks up the donations from 907 Surplus and bring to a shelter where they take inventory and prepare it to be distributed to the homeless community.
“We believe our donations are a vital part of helping out our homeless community,” said Rendon. “We provide supplies from thick winter jackets to sleeping bags, to heavy boots for those living outdoors during harsh Alaska winters.”
In 2018, ARBRA received and distributed approximately $109,442 in clothing donations.
4. Safe Haven – Safe Haven is a proposed project to establish an outdoor enclosed camping ground consisting of 60 to 100 small living structures. Single cottages are approximately 150 square feet and the double cottages are 250 square feet. Safe Haven would be open to all homeless, back packers, and visitors who seek a safe, clean, temporary living quarters. Safe Havens permitting system would ensure safety within the facility and would be a dry campground.
ARBRA relies on the support from members and sponsors.
ARBRA Members Include: Alaska Hospitality Retailers, Value Liquor, Holiday Stations, Lucky Wishbone, Gaslight Bar, Vans’ Dive Bar, Blue Fox Lounge, 907 Alehouse, Holiday Stations, Subway of Alaska, Firetap Alehouse, O’Brady’s Burgers & Brew, Bradley House, Long Branch Saloon, Seward Alehouse, Pit Bar, Don Jose’s, Gallo’s Mexican Restaurant, Taco King, Koots, among others.
ARBRA Sponsors Include: 907 Surplus Store, Alaska Safety, ALPAR, APD, Xpress Lube, Grubstake Auction, North Star, Trail Watch, PIP Printing.
The homeless population is a big problem in our community and it’s not getting any better. ARBRA invites local citizens and the media to learn more about the thriving organization. Call (907) 677-2112 to set up a time and date to meet and to make the rounds with ARBRA.
ARBRA’s Mission: Solutions for cleaner, safer camping with compassionate outreach for the homeless that includes basic amenities for citizens and visitors choosing an outdoor hostel experience in our All- American Great Land City of Anchorage.
ARBRA has been operational in Anchorage since 2000 through community volunteer efforts and has received three “Heart of Anchorage” awards for their work. ARBRA recruits clients from the homeless shelters and Bean’s Cafe to help with the clean-up at the Municipal parks and homeless camps. Approximately thirty tons of trash (all types) have been picked up & hauled to the dump in the last year. We assist with citywide camp clean-ups, maintain “Hot Spots” within half-mile of member businesses (approximately a dozen of these drinking hangouts are closely watched by ARBRA).