Ketchikan Operations Closing

Akeela Inc. is closing its Ketchikan operations at Gateway Center for Human Services and KAR House, effective 11:59 PM June 30, 2024 which is timed to coincide with the end of the state fiscal year and our commitment under the CBHTR grant program.  We realize the services Akeela has provided are essential to the behavioral health of the community and are ready to work with key stakeholders to achieve a smooth transition by the beginning of the new fiscal year.

Why is Akeela making this decision now? 

Akeela has faced a difficult proposition over the past several months and years.  Like much of America, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has struggled to hire and maintain an effective workforce in Ketchikan.  Workforce challenges lead to the temporary closure of KAR House in late 2023.  Despite all efforts, Akeela has been unable to stem the tide of those challenges.  With the advent of recent investments and recruiting by at least two local and regional treatment providers, Akeela has made the decision to close our Ketchikan operations.

Akeela entered the Ketchikan community as a provider for the Department of Corrections in 2009 and in 2010 agreed to take possession of the Gateway Center for Human Services to provide relief to the City of Ketchikan, who operated the center at a substantial loss.  When Akeela formally entered the community in 2010, it had always been Akeela’s intent to serve as a bridge operator while local leadership was developed and strengthened to return operations to the local community.  Now, nearly 15 years later, it is time for local and regional organizations to provide these services in Ketchikan.

Our Crisis Team has served with PeaceHealth as a beacon of hope, providing round-the-clock mental health interventions to those in crisis, relied upon by law enforcement, private providers, and the community at large. alike. For adults grappling with severe mental illnesses, our day-treatment programming offered a lifeline, blending case management, therapy, and psychiatric care to foster independence and stability.

Through KAR House, we helped individuals in the community in rewriting their personal stories of resilience, offering a transformative residential rehabilitation program for individuals with substance use disorders as well as co-occurring disorders. Here, clients found solace in Moral Reconation Therapy, relapse prevention strategies, and life skills development, paving the way for lasting recovery.

At Akeela, our mission has always been clear: to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and build a brighter tomorrow for all. We have helped thousands of people in Ketchikan improve the quality of their lives by dealing with their substance use issues and managing their mental health. We’ve been proud to serve and support healing in southeast Alaska.

It’s been an honor to provide services in the heartbeat of rural southeast Alaska, offering a comprehensive array of services to uplift our diverse communities. From outpatient services tailored to individuals at ASAM 1 or 2.1 Level of Care, to telehealth services spanning remote regions of Ketchikan and Metlakatla.  We have been dedicated to accessibility and excellence in behavioral health support.

To that end, our core values in the transition include:

  • We will ensure our clients remain connected to care.
  • We will ensure smooth transfer of Gateway facilities back to the City of Ketchikan.
  • We will ensure community providers are supported in standing up core services.
  • We will support current staff in transitioning to new employment.

In conclusion, we are grateful for our time in Ketchikan. Grateful for the hundreds of employees we have worked with over the years; our partnerships; and the clients we had the fortune of serving.

Please direct any transition questions to