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Premera Announces $1 Million Investment in Covenant House Alaska

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Anchorage, Alaska, July 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, a leading health plan in the state, today announced a $1 million grant to Covenant House Alaska (CHA) to provide housing and behavioral health services for homeless youth.

The Premera Social Impact grant supports CHA's Rapid ReHousing program, which will move 30 youth, ages 18-24, from temporary shelters into apartments. The program also provides employment, case management support and temporary rental assistance, while offering support services to help youth address behavioral health issues and navigate housing and employment systems.

"Putting a roof over someone's head often means the difference between life and death, and that makes homelessness a healthcare issue," said Jim Grazko, President and General Manager of Premera's Alaska office. "We are excited to partner with Covenant House and help them fulfill their bold vision of eradicating youth homelessness."

CHA serves a community faced with daunting challenges, including human trafficking, homelessness, suicide, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence and sexual abuse. The organization relies on partners within the native communities to support all youth in an appropriate community context.

"We operate with a lens that sees and reinforces the strength and resiliency of our young people. Our plan is that by 2020, youth homelessness will be rare, brief and non-recurring," said Alison E. Kear, Executive Director of CHA. "We are committed to preparing young people, some of whom have endured profound challenges, to become the best version of themselves and to take their place as productive, contributing community members."

The CHA grant is the first Premera has announced as part of a five-year, $8 million investment to support efforts across Alaska to address behavioral health issues with a specific focus on homelessness. The funding was made possible due to recent changes in the U.S. corporate tax system that resulted in one-time-only tax refunds to some companies.

To learn more about Premera Social Impact, read the company's community giving report.

About Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska, which has operated in Alaska since 1952, is a not-for-profit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Premera and its family of companies provide comprehensive health benefits and tailored services to approximately 2 million people, from individuals to Fortune 100 companies.

About Covenant House Alaska
Since 1988, Covenant House Alaska has served over 25,000 youth experiencing homelessness, abuse or sex trafficking. In addition to shelter, Covenant House provides meals, education, counseling and employment services—and unconditional love and respect to every youth brave enough to walk through the shelter doors.

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Paul Hollie
Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
425-599-0985
paul.hollie@premera.com

Joe Hemphill
Covenant House Alaska
501-744-8099
jhemphill@covenanthouseak.org

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