Anchorage homeless coordinator John Morris resigns from Bronson administration

Anchorage homeless coordinator Dr. John Morris has resigned.

Morris said that he has left Mayor Dave Bronson’s administration but declined further comment Thursday.

He did not say why he is leaving.

Bronson thanked Morris for his service in a prepared statement Thursday, saying that the city’s focus would stay on “helping our city’s most vulnerable get the compassionate care and resources they need.”

“That includes working with the Anchorage Assembly with the strategy that involves housing, transitional housing, supportive housing, treatment, and navigation centers,” Bronson said.

Morris, an anesthesiologist, joined the administration in July, leading efforts to build what was originally envisioned as a large, temporary shelter on land at Tudor and Elmore roads in East Anchorage.

Those plans changed, and through a negotiation process with the Anchorage Assembly the plan evolved to a compromise that would involve multiple, smaller shelters targeted to specific populations.


Meanwhile, the mass shelter at Sullivan Arena has been housing hundreds of unhoused people daily. After a rough transition between shelter operator Bean’s Cafe and a new company called 99 Plus One, the Anchorage Health Department officially took over management oversight on Oct. 1.

Joe Gerace, head of the city health department, declined to comment Thursday.

[Bronson administration fires head of city’s operations at Sullivan Arena amid shakeup of Anchorage’s homelessness management team]

Other Bronson administration officials working on homelessness issues have resigned or been fired recently. Last week Shawn Hays, the city’s mass care branch chief, was fired. Bob Doehl, a city official who’d previously overseen the Sullivan Arena shelter, resigned.

Hays was fired Oct. 20, the same day the Daily News published the account of a man whose daughter found him incoherent and severely ill at the shelter in early October.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.