Access Alaska has temporarily moved following flooding in its Gaffney Road offices.
“We’ve got numerous core services,” said Christine Charron, pre-employment transition services manager. “Kind of the first service that we think of is our information and referral service. That’s almost anyone that walks through our door will go through that process in order to see if we have a service in-house that might benefit them or if there’s a community service that may be a better fit for that individual’s needs.”
The organization offers various other services, including running a durable medical equipment loan closet, an independent living program that serves people with disabilities; a consumer-directed personal care service; peer support groups; and an employment program for high schoolers.
The office is temporarily located at 751 Old Richardson Highway, Suite 201. It was in a building on Gaffney Road for more than six years. However, the office flooded during the weekend of Jan. 18-19, according to Brigit Barstad, independent living director with Access Alaska.
“We had teams that were in there very quickly to act on that, but we have to get in there, make some repairs due to that flooding,” Barstad said. “We’re very grateful to have a landlord that was walking alongside us the whole time and really assisted us in getting into this new work space so that we could continue operations as normal and continue serving our consumers and being open as a community center.”
Charron wrote in an email to the Daily News-Miner that Access Alaska is the only tenant that was relocated, to its knowledge, although other businesses are housed in the building.
Barstad said she thinks it was some sort of a burst pipe and that water covered the majority of their building. Repairs are underway.
Access Alaska did everything it could to try to make the move as seamless as possible, according to Barstad. The building they’re in is Americans with Disabilities Act accessible, and she says they’re in a place right now where, from a staff side, they can complete all essential operations.
The only real difference Barstad noted is that the durable medical equipment closet is still operating out of the previous office.
“That area was not significantly damaged, so we were lucky for that,” she said. “So all of that old medical equipment is going to be in our old space. Otherwise, everything else should be operational out of this building.”
People can contact Access Alaska about any durable medical equipment needs and facilitate equipment pick up or drop off.
Right now calls to the Fairbanks Access Alaska location are being transferred to the organization’s Anchorage office. They expect their phone number to be functioning again today, according to Barstad.
Although the staff don’t yet know how long they’ll be based out of the Old Richardson Highway location, Access Alaska does intend to move back to its usual office space once repairs are complete.
Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7510. Follow her on Twitter at: twitter.com/FDNMlocal