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How MVR Impacts Health

Matsu Valley Rebuild has already impacted the Health of the Mat-Su Valley and the State of Alaska in a number of positive ways. Through our efforts to collect useful building materials and offer them to the general public we have provided environmental, economic, community and mental health benefits.

We will continue and expand that work and develop programs to strengthen our civic muscle and have a strong impact in a number of areas as outlined in the "Community Health Needs Assessment" 2022 report issued by The Mat-Su Health Foundation and Partners. MVR will influence five of the “Community Needs” as identified by the MSHF for “A Healthier Mat-Su For All”. MVR will also benefit the individual’s health in our Valley by impacting the six “Vital Conditions” in the “Well-Being Portfolio” and two (arguably three by assisting Addiction Recovery through job training/community service opportunities) of the “Urgent Services”.

We will change the trajectory of our Valley’s Health:


Environmental Health/Air Quality Vital Condition–“Stable Natural Environment”


  • Reducing the growth of the landfill –preserving green space, reducing greenhouse gas emissions

  • Improving air quality by reducing the number of large truck hauling construction and demolition dumpsters

  • Easing supply chain reliance -reducing the reliance on out-of-state/country resources –reducing the environmental impacts of shipping

  • Resource preservation –reducing the vast environmental impact involved in the procurement of lumber, metals, chemicals, glass, rubber, etc. used in the many building materials.

  • Raising awareness about the importance of the health of our natural environment


Economic Health (CHNA Priority #3)


  • Saving individuals/businesses/families money on purchasing materials and dump fees

  • Saving the Borough money on Landfill costs

  • The tool library –saving people money on tool costs, making projects/repairs affordable “Community Need –Lack of Equity”

  • Reducing new material costs, resource development-logging, mining, manufacturing


Community Health


  • Housing costs and stability (CHNA Priority #6) “Community Needs –Homelessness and Lack of Equity” Vital Condition –“Humane Housing” -providing home renters and owners access to low-cost housing repairs and improvements

  • Family health -bringing families together over projects and improved relationships (saved money/bonding)

  • Classes and workshops (CHNA Priority #10) Vital Condition –“Lifelong Learning” -bringing people together, creating and fortifying social connections

  • Educating and empowering young and old trying to make their way

  • Sharing knowledge –local experts (builders, farmers, artists, “fixers and tinkerers” share their knowledge and experience

  • Job training Vital Condition –“Meaningful Work and Wealth” -getting people the confidence and experience to learn a role in a business, take responsibility, direction and become a part of a team

  • “Community Need –Depression” -Providing community for those who may be lonely and/or depressed/fight isolation, especially in the winter months – offer the chance for belonging and building civic muscle

  • Creating community in Alaska; a place where it isn’t a given


Physical/recreational health


  • (CHNA Priority #10) Vital Condition –“Basic needs for Health and Safety” -Getting people (old and young) out of the house to volunteer, take classes, join a meeting, garden, utilize art studio space, etc.


  • Lack of Transportation (CHNA Priority #4) “Community Need -Transportation” Vital Condition –“Reliable Transportation” -The Bicycle department –educating people how to tune and fix their own bike, even build their own bike. Provide low-cost or even free bikes and bike parts…Getting more people riding bikes!


Mental Health


All of the above


  • Reducing the stress of owning or renting a home with access to cheap materials

  • Offering affordable building necessities, shelter, light and warmth

  • Providing confidence to try a project, use a power tool, ask the “stupid question” in low-pressure workshops/classes

  • Developing peoples’ ability to do repairs themselves and save money

  • Motivating and empowering people to do and try new projects, building creativity

  • Providing artists with the freedom of a work space away from the confines and responsibility of home

  • Giving people the comfort of knowing they are keeping their material donations out of the landfill and available to others; especially those that need them


Creative Health


  • Artist studio space- providing space to local artists to work. Often artists do not have the physical space or the mental space (away from the tasks of home) to work on their medium


Inspiring people to think differently about waste, about repurposing and reusing.


  • Shifting the mentality on waste for a healthier future

  • Injecting creativity by educating and enlightening people on repurposing, show them the intended purpose is only one idea

  • Providing retired people with special knowledge a social outlet and the pleasure of passing on their skill and get them out of the house (CHNA Priority #10) “Community Need -Growing Senior Population”


Food Health (CHNA Priority #7)


  • Community garden space –educate people on how to grow their own healthy food, provide them with a space if they do not have access of their own



While some of these impacts may be tertiary, when it comes to addressing health issues all of our efforts wok collectively. And, by tackling some of these issues we can impact other societal areas of concern, such as violence and child abuse by supporting healthy minds and healthy families.

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