AVCP Housing Authority Looking For Homeless Veterans To Occupy Housing Funded By Federal Grant

Apr 14, 2017

Elia Sallafie applied for housing through a new program for homeless veterans. Sallafie served in the Marine Corps and the National Guard and stays with friends, in homeless shelters, abandoned buildings, and camps when he has to. "Right now wherever I lay my head is my home," Sallafie says. Sallafie hopes that the program will help him and other homeless veterans in the region.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

  With funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing voucher demonstration project, AVCP Regional Housing Authority has enough money to pay for housing for 20 homeless military veterans. Now the job is finding vets in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta interested in housing that is completely paid for by the program.




“So far we have, you know, we went to the homeless shelter and we got one from there,” says Catherine Cedars, the program manager at AVCP RHA. “And then today, in one hour alone, I got at least four just looking around town.”

Cedars is focused on getting as many veterans to apply as possible. People, for instance, living in shelters, living with relatives, or who are generally constantly moving from place to place with no place to call home.


People like Elia Sallaffie, a Bethel resident who has been homeless since his house burnt down several years ago.


"Right now wherever I lay my head is my home," says Sallaffie, "and I'm very fortunate that I have my Marine brother and childhood friend that's allowing me to stay, you know... I don't know for how long."


AVCP RHA estimates that there are 20 to 25 homeless veterans living in Bethel, and up to 50 across the Delta.


Association of Village Council Presidents Regional Housing Authority (AVCP RHA) offices in Bethel.
Credit Courtesy of Catherine Cedars/AVCP RHA

To sort through the veterans to find those that qualify for housing, Cedars is waiting for help from the Veteran's Administration.


“Right now we are waiting for a case manager,” says Cedars. “The VA is hiring a [case manager] for the Bethel region and they’re having a hard time filling it.”


Meanwhile, Cedars is going to the Bethel Winter House homeless shelter and other places in town to tell eligible candidates about the program.


Right now there is no deadline for applications.