Ketchikan’s city hall on June 11, 2020 (KRBD file photo by Maria Dudzak)

Ketchikan’s City Council is scheduled Thursday night to hear an update from a local homeless services group and discuss the findings of a months-long study on homelessness. 

Back in April, the council set aside $125,000 for First City Homeless Services — but there were some strings attached. The council authorized about $85,000 of that at the April meeting. But in order to get the remaining $40,000 or so, the council asked the group to professionalize its operation in three main ways: creating job descriptions for shelter staff and managers, updating a manual of policies and procedures and entering the group’s data into a state database. 

The council is scheduled to hear from the homeless group  about its progress towards that goal at the meeting.

The council is also scheduled to discuss a report from Rider Consulting and Van Den Berg Consulting that outlines 13 recommendations the city can take to address homelessness in Ketchikan. 

One of those is to develop a supportive housing program, sometimes called a “housing-first” approach to homelessness. The report recommends that local, state and tribal governments work together to develop such a program — and notes that Ketchikan Indian Community, the federally recognized tribe, is already working on an 18-unit facility in town.

Other recommendations include bolstering EMT services and encouraging new housing development. 

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers at Ketchikan City Hall. The meeting is livestreamed on local cable channels and the city’s website, and members of the public can weigh in at the beginning of the meeting.