Quality Health Care & Social Support

Ingredients for life

Quality health care, safe home, food at the table. 

Nothing is more important than a person’s health and well-being. Providing access to affordable, quality health care, reliable sources of food and safe shelter is central to our mission. True to our missionary background, a large portion of our funding supports basic human needs.

108 Community health centers and clinics built or improved, since 1990
36Food banks, pantries and soup kitchens supported, since 1982
25 Domestic violence shelters and programs improved, since 1986

Innovations to empower Alaskans

Across our state, nonprofits and tribal organizations are finding meaningful ways to help people heal and address trauma, substance misuse, emotional crises and mental illness. 

At Alaska Seeds of Change, a program of Alaska Behavioral Health in Midtown Anchorage, youth ages 16-24 learn to manage a state-of-the-art indoor hydroponic farm, growing vegetables while developing essential workplace and interpersonal skills. Staff are seen jumping for joy in 2022 outside the building. The eye-popping mural was painted by youth and volunteers led by artist Sarah Davies.

In Kotzebue, Maniilaq Association faced challenges with inadequate building space and had to provide care to clients in the Post Office building. In 2021, in part with the help of a Foundation grant, they were able to house all behavioral health services in a purposely renovated space. 

Additional impact areas

Healthy food

We fund projects that reach every aspect of providing food security throughout the state, from facility construction to meal delivery vehicles, lighting and kitchen supplies and even aprons for food banks and soup kitchens. At Bread Line’s Stone Soup Cafe in Fairbanks, for instance, individuals not only get meals, but also job training in food services and the ability to grow their own food at the community garden.

Health clinics

We have helped build or improve over 100 health clinics throughout the state, many in isolated areas off the road system. These local clinics save lives by improving access to health care for thousands of Alaskans, ensuring that people no longer have to board a Bush plane when a health issue arises.

Domestic violence shelters

We have helped support, renovate and build shelters across the state, including committing $1 million to renovate and expand AWAIC, the Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis shelter in Anchorage. Those fleeing abuse and danger are provided a safe place and connected with services.

Warming shelters

All over Alaska, people struggle with homelessness: living in tents, sleeping under buildings or in alcoves, couch surfing and often, staying in temporary shelters. In 2019, we launched a multi-year, public-private partnership with the broad goal of solving homelessness. Learn more about the collaborative strategies here.

Oral health care in villages

In rural Alaska villages, the lack of regular access to dental care long contributed to high rates of oral disease. Young children were losing permanent teeth and inadequate care led to other problems including a reluctance to smile. We became an early supporter of Alaska’s Dental Health Aide Therapist program, the first of its kind in the country and now a model of success in oral health. 

Changing perceptions of drinking

Back in 2008, then-Chairman Ed Rasmuson asked the Foundation board to think of projects that could transform life in Alaska. One result was Recover Alaska, which aims to reduce the harm caused by alcohol through public health messaging, policy changes and a shift in social norms around drinking. Learn more and explore a wealth of resources including a virtual sober lounge here.

Homelessness Response

Learn about collaborative strategies for solving homelessness in Alaska.

Nurturing souls and feeding community at Bread Line

Bread Line and Stone Soup Café in Fairbanks offers healthy meals, jobs, and social supports.

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