Last year, the Bethel Winter House at the Bethel Evangelical Covenant Church took care of 216 visitors, defined as people who went there at least once. Anny Cochrane is on its board of directors.
"You know, sometimes homelessness doesn’t look like what we think it does. And most people think our people that we serve are chronically homeless? Not many people that we serve are chronically homeless," Cochrane said.
Cochrane says that many people who stay at Bethel Winter House do it because they might have fallen behind on rent and need a place to stay for the night. Sometimes they are teenagers escaping a rough time in their home. It costs almost $80,000 to run the winter house for about three months.
"We offer a dinner, we offer overnight shelter, and we offer breakfast," Cochrane said.
But thanks to Wells Fargo, the Bethel Winter House can keep those services available for another month. Wells Fargo has a philanthropic arm in Alaska that gives out funds to help people put a down payment on a house or teach them about buying homes. That same fund also gives money to nonprofits that tackle homelessness. For the Bethel Winter House, that amount is $20,000.
Other nonprofits that received funding from Wells Fargo this year include Glory Hall in Juneau, and the Nome Community Hall and Nome Emergency Shelter Team.