Anchorage Chamber Releases Community Care Kit

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April 17, 2023
New resource helps businesses respond to community members in crisis
ANCHORAGE – Today, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce released its Community Care Kit: Best Practices for Responding to Community Members and Employees in Crisis. The Chamber announced the Community Care Kit at its "Make it Monday" forum, alongside a panel of local business and crisis response experts.

The Community Care Kit helps businesses and the Anchorage community compassionately and effectively respond to challenging on-the-ground situations. These situations include individuals and employees experiencing behavioral health crises or substance misuse as well as community members sleeping or congregating outside businesses. It is the result of a months-long effort that included feedback from over 150 Anchorage businesses as well as local experts in crisis response.

“The Chamber has existed for over 100 years, and our membership has grown to represent nearly 800 businesses,” said Bruce Bustamante, President & CEO of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. “Many of these businesses have reached out over the past few years seeking guidance on how to respond when community members are in crisis. We heard businesses loud and clear, and the Community Care Kit is the result.”

The Community Care Kit includes several action-oriented resources, including Best Practices During Crisis Response; a Phone Tree for directing individuals to resources; Situational Examples; a Resource List; and How Businesses Can Make a Difference, including recommendations for how businesses can help prevent crisis situations. The resources range from specific best practices on when to call different community response lines such as 9-1-1, 3-1-1, and 2-1-1, to general recommendations on how to approach and de-escalate crisis situations.

“The Anchorage Chamber’s Community Care Kit is a reflection of the values our business members have for how we respond when community members and employees are in crisis,” said Ed Hendrickson, immediate past Board Chair. “And the Care Kit provides actionable guidance and best practices needed to respond both compassionately and effectively to those situations. It can also be a way to start a difficult but important conversation with employees.”

In addition to the Community Care Kit, the Anchorage Chamber is exploring future opportunities to support businesses in responding to challenging situations, including through training. The Community Care Kit is available for download on the Anchorage Chamber website. The Chamber welcomes feedback from businesses on the Care Kit, and ways to make it most useful for the business community.

The Community Care Kit was developed with generous support from Rasmuson Foundation and in partnership with Agnew::Beck Consulting.
Tosha Swan, VP of Programs and Communication, (907) 677-7103