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​​We all have a story, lived experiences, and talent that deserve recognition. What sets Henning Inc. apart from other organizations is our personal lived experience with homelessness, addiction, and extreme poverty; our firsthand experiences drive us to roll up our sleeves and pull others out of despair. Most of our founders and staff have already been in our clients’ shoes, empowering us to walk beside them to recovery and housing.  



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Homelessness stands as the most extreme downstream consequence of an ongoing lack of access to equitable housing within our community. Those enduring chronic homelessness represent some of our most medically and economically vulnerable individuals who are historically marginalized and in urgent need of support. Nearly all who are facing chronic homelessness grapple with exceedingly low or nonexistent incomes, compounded by disabilities which restrict daily functioning and hinder independent housing acquisition and retention. Moreover, regional racial disparities in homelessness function as an ongoing contributor to broader racial inequities in housing, employment, and access to services. 

In March 2019, 25-year-old Shannon Henning tragically lost her life crossing Third Ave when an impaired driver struck her. Shannon was chronically homeless and suffered from behavioral health and substance misuse challenges rooted in trauma. Henning Inc. was founded in 2020 with a clear mission in mind; to tackle chronic homelessness by addressing the unequal access to housing, services, and employment in Anchorage head on.  

Our commitment is unwavering: no one else should pay with their life for the shortcomings of our homelessness response system.

Henning Inc. provides a variety of solutions and works with each person to help them reach their full potential. We recognize that each person will have their own challenges and barriers to overcome on their path to self-sufficiency. We understand that a one-size fits all solution will never fully address and solve homelessness.  



When Shannon Henning was killed, Founder and Executive Director Shawn Hays was at a loss for how Anchorage was responding to our homeless crisis. After asking herself what she was going to do about it, Shawn rolled up her sleeves and formed Henning Inc. to honor Shannon's memory. 


Henning Inc. earns its 501c3 designation from the IRS as Shawn meets Rob Seay while at the Aviator Hotel, who was then working with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council. Through shared lived experience and a vision for our community, the two immediately hit off. 


Build out

Shawn and Rob hit the ground running championing and advocating for Alaskans experiencing homelessness, working to build relationships with the community and stakeholders while growing Henning Inc. 



As a two-man team, Henning Inc. launches its first project, housing 80 Alaskans in the Aviator Hotel. 


With the addition of Crystal Abbott and Sarah Hall-Wright and partnering with Mountain View Health Services, Henning provides behavioral health services for unsheltered Alaskans living in camps across Anchorage.

July - September

Now as a team of four, Henning works to distribute $900,000 of emergency rental assistance to over 100 individuals and families experiencing homelessness or on the verge of homelessness.

Henning's Master Lease program is created, providing a path for housing for people experiencing barriers to housing.

Over 100 Alaskans living at the former Guest House receive peer support services.  


To serve over 700 Alaskans, Henning stands up emergency cold weather shelter, growing from a team of four to over 100. 

To further provide needed resources, a Behavioral Health Advocate is hired to support 15 of the highest utilizers of services; services like emergency services and hospitals. 

Work Force Development Program launches, hiring former clients and others experiencing homelessness to work in shelter support operations. 


To help support our transitional housing program, Henning was awarded $400,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds.



64 Alaskans are housed in master leased units. 


As emergency cold weather shelter ends, Henning stands up its street outreach operations. Our Street Outreach team meets unhoused Alaskans in encampments to provide hygiene, food, medical and weather-related supplies.

June - August 

Housing 60 additional Alaskans using Emergency Housing Vouchers while providing tenancy support services and continuing work force development with the Glacier Lodge and several other local restaurants. 

Henning opens the former Golden Lion Hotel as low-income housing to 80 Alaskans experiencing homelessness. 


Henning stands up emergency cold weather shelter operations at the Aviator Hotel, the Alex Hotel, and the Cold Weather Shelter.


Continuing the work

Henning provides services to 2,600 of 3,200 Alaskans experiencing homelessness through our lived experience and peer support model.




Our mission is to serve, advocate, and house Anchorage's most vulnerable citizens by providing resources and services, offering an alternative to both institutionalized and unsheltered homelessness.

We envision a community in which everyone has a place to call home and where homelessness is brief and solvable.

Our lived experiences and values are what drive us to honor both Shannon Henning’s memory and our mission. At Henning Inc, we have six foundational values that are at the heart of what we do. 

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