The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness will hold its Board Member Election at the 2017 Annual Conference on October 23-24 in Fairbanks, AK. There are four available Board Member positions open in 2017.

2017 Board Member Applicants (alphabetical order)

Deborah Bitney - Rasmuson Foundation - Anchorage

I would like to continue to serve as a member of the AKCH2 board.  The important work of solving the state’s homeless issues isn’t done.  I’m passionate about the work.  As the Chair of the MyHouse board, and as a Vice President of the Rasmuson Foundation, I’m familiar with the issues, both in the Anchorage area, and the balance of the state, and am committed to seeing them solved.

sharon clark - nenana

My name is Sharon Clark. I am a 53 year resident of Alaska and I live in the interior, 17.5 miles south of Nenana, Alaska.

Being homeless is an issue that affects everyone in Society. The face of homelessness could be any of us, due to unforseen circumstances beyond ones control.  Life can turn on a dime sometimes and we all can be vulnerable. Being homeless, does not (or) should not mean," being without hope"! Life is a journey that we are all on and which needs to be traversed with care for not only our walk, but of those around us that need a help. I would like to be a part of the Alaska Homeless Coalition to do what I can to improve the lives of those in need of help.

Being homeless is a State issue, touching the lives of people in Urban and Rural Alaska alike.

Kathy gensel - central peninsula health foundation - kenai

I began working at Central Peninsula Hospital as Foundation Director for the Central Peninsula Health Foundation, a supporting organization for CPH and Concierge Services Coordinator in March of 2011. I have been involved with Project Homeless Connect since 2015 and I have co-chaired 2017 and the upcoming 2018 event. I am working on the Kenai Peninsula Continuum of Care program as well as the Balance of State HUD grants that we just worked on.

Shawn Gilman - City of kotzebue - kotzebue

I would be interested in submitting my name for nomination for the AKCH2 Board. I was born and raised in Alaska and became involved in public service several years ago. I have had exposure to homelessness population through friends and family and have always had a sense of personal pride when I was able to make even the smallest difference in someone’s life. I have a strong sense of compassion and patience. I also understand that because a person may be homeless and/or financially challenged does not make that person any less human than myself nor are they less deserving to have the basic essential needs for survival. I came to Kotzebue as the City Manager and I began to expand my involvement with the homeless. I have volunteered my time and skills to create the Kotzebue Connection to house the homeless in the Northwest Arctic Region. This region poses additional risks with severe weather conditions and cold during the winter months and this shelter will be a very welcomed and a much needed facility to provide a safe place.

I am truly passionate and find a personal satisfaction to serve the homeless. I believe I would be a great asset to the Board and those that the Board serves.

travis hedwig - university of alaska anchorage - anchorage

I am running for reelection to the board of directors for the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness. My experience in teaching, research, and community-based non-profit service makes me uniquely qualified to be a productive, actively contributing board member. I have a long history of working with individuals who experience a variety of disabilities in community settings across Alaska. I enjoy working with and supporting vulnerable populations and work hard to understand the social, political and economic circumstances that shape and constrain everyday life experiences for individuals, families and communities. I am deeply committed to policy engagement, advocacy, and community mobilization to improve housing options and solutions in communities statewide. I believe in building more inclusive and accommodating communities where people are recognized and valued for their strengths and supported in their communities of choice. If re-elected, I will approach my duties with professionalism, enthusiasm, dedication, and a spirit of service.

Chris Kolerok - bering straits regional housing authority - nome

I believe the knowledge of how housing is built and the challenges housing providers face can be a foundation for state-wide progress. I have been lucky to learn these issues first-hand as the President/CEO of the Bering Straits Regional Housing Authority. BSRHA utilizes Federal grants to build affordable housing for 5,800 Alaska Native/American Indian people in an area the size of Maryland. Several of our communities are closer to Russia than Nome, let alone Anchorage. The challenges are unique but they impact all of Alaska's communities. I want to use that knowledge to help inform the work of the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness. Thank You.

david kuiper - christian health associates - anchorage

I bring some experience and a passion for seeking solutions related to homelessness and housing. Last year, I had the privilege of representing the Alaska Governor’s Council on Homelessness at the Alaska Municipal League’s leadership conference, met some wonderfully devoted municipal leaders and listened to stories of housing needs in dozens of Alaska’s rural communities. As I listened, I became deeply concerned about their situations and began to wonder if the relationships I’ve been given and the experiences working with others in the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness might – in some small way – have prepared me to help connect people and resources for the benefit of rural Alaskans struggling around housing issues. So, with these thoughts, I humbly offer myself as a possible candidate for the board and will serve gratefully to the best of my ability if elected.

kelvin lee - no limits, inc. - fairbanks

I would like to be considered as a candidate to serve on the State Homelessness Board. I have witnessed the time and hard work that has been spent, along with the advancements that have been made in the area of homelessness in Alaska and I would be honored to be a part of future efforts.

I am currently the Chair of the Fairbanks Homeless Coalition. I have had 8 years of extensive experience with homelessness that ranges from personal to professional. A majority of that experience comes from working with the prison population, a sub-population of homelessness that has rapidly increased in recent years. I believe I bring great experience to the table and can offer a broad vision for the future

With programs such as No Limits Inc. here in Fairbanks, I have been diligently working to end homelessness for over 10 years. We strive to provide transition into permanent housing while using our reentry center to assist returning citizens in any way that we can.  This promotes healthier and safer communities.

Housing is the most essential need in our community and state, with secure housing people are able to excel in many areas, which in turn benefits our families, communities, economy etc.  I always want to be a part of the solutions so being a part of this board would truly be an honor, and I will commit to give my best and lend my expertise to the board for my term.

I know I’m only one voice but with my heart and passion mixed with other like-minded people I believe that there is so much that can be accomplished. With the work that we are continuing as a coalition on a state level moving forward I truly want to lend all my energy to it and see it reach the ones who truly need us. I pray and believe  this is my year to be chosen but no matter the outcome  my purpose will always be to help those in need which remains close to my heart.

christina love - ak network on domestic violence & sexual assault - juneau

I would like to formally add myself to the ballot to join the board of The Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, which I believe may be a great fit for my experience, education, passion, and current work.

I can offer decades of lived experience and “research” in the field of addiction and homelessness as well as 6yrs of professional experience managing projects, programs, and coalitions that are dedicated to advancing public perception, education, recovery supports, mental health, and our systems of care.

I am an Alaskan Native woman who has survived trauma, substance use, and homelessness. I know both personally and professionally the complexity that homelessness holds. I am well versed in our systems of care and am dedicated to ending homelessness for our state. As a survivor and an advocate this is more than just a job for me. It is personal. It is a way of life. I have dedicated my work and my life to rising people out of poverty and ensuring that all Alaskans have access to housing and the support services that they need for a better quality of life.

Mike Sanders - fairbanks housing & homelessness coalition - fairbanks

I have a PhD in Public Policy Administration with a specialization involving mediation, which often helps me understand and ease interagency tensions. I tend to be objective and pragmatic with no ties to any particular agency which allows me to focus on the big picture. I am fairly well versed in homelessness in the Fairbanks North Star Borough and can effectively represent the Interior.

Kathi trawver - university of alaska anchorage - anchorage

I am writing to you to indicate my strong interest in joining the Alaska Coalition on Housing and Homelessness as a board member. I have served on several non-profit boards, and most recently completed serving two terms on the Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness as a board member and chair of its data committee. As a UAA faculty member in the School of Social Work, a primary line of my research and scholarship focuses on homelessness and its intersection with youth, serious mental illness, disability, criminal justice involvement, and trauma. Furthermore, it is personally very important to me to stay close to Alaska's communities and to offer my help in ending homelessness in our state. I believe that service on the Alaska Coalition provides a perfect partnership to utilize my experience, interests, and enthusiasm for creating positive change.