The ANA Messenger: Social Development Edition 2013
Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Women’s Post-Treatment & Youth Prevention Project
The Grand Ronde Indian Reservation is located in western Oregon half-way between Salem and the coast. The Tribe is now in its final year of a two year SEDS project. The goal was to break the cycle of addiction and prevent initial drug use. The first objective was to complete and operate a women’s transition house. The second objective was to develop and provide new youth activities at the Tribe’s new Youth Activity space. Both objectives were tied to planned construction projects.
This SEDS project was created to help address drugs and alcohol issues in our community. Drug possession offenses had been far higher in our community compared to the rest of the county. Meth, marijuana and cocaine use all doubled between 2008 and 2009 and drug use and alcohol abuse also leads to other problems. There was a large increase in teen pregnancies including 13 Tribal members.
The Tribe sends Tribal members to drug and alcohol treatment facilities but there is a high recidivism rate and treatment is expensive. The Tribe has a small men’s post-treatment transition house (which was assisted by ANA in 2005) and it has been shown to help reduce recidivism. The Tribe didn’t have a women’s transition house. The year prior to this SEDS application there were 17 women that would have been referred to a Grand Ronde women’s transition house had we had one. Unlike the men’s facility this was not only important for the women but for their young dependent children.
In addition to the program statistics as a basis for need to develop a project, the Tribe also collected information from the membership on needs and priorities. In 2008 the Tribe performed a membership-wide survey (with a 33% response rate). Drug abuse was the highest public safety concern and creating a youth activity center was a high community need. It was frequently stated that there was too little for youth to do. In 2009 the Tribe created a 2010 Tribal Strategic Plan which included support for prevention and treatment. In 2010 the Tribal Housing Authority’s housing needs assessment, 33 member households reported that a family member needed drug/alcohol recovery housing.
From this background the Tribe included a women’s transition house in its 2011 Capital Improvement Plan and a recreation center. The recreation center proved far too expensive for this economy and was not pursued. The Tribe did apply for a 2010 HUD Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) for construction of a women’s transition house and (with HUD’s cooperation) the Tribe submitted a proposal to amend its prior ICDBG recreation center grant to instead build a youth activity addition to the Tribe’s small Youth Education Building. Both of these funding requests were formally approved a couple weeks prior to the ANA SEDS application deadline. The Tribe had already included in its SEDS application the renovation of a smaller house (on farmland the Tribe had purchased) into a women’s transition house and the Tribe amended the HUD project to be an addition to that house.
The Tribe also applied to the U.S. Department of Justice for a Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) grant for corrections alternatives funding for renovation, equipment and furnishings for women coming out of court ordered treatment or prison, and for their dependent children.
In addition to these applications the Tribe also applied for a Tribal Personal Responsibility Education Program (TPREP) grant to help reduce teen pregnancy. The Tribe already had an I.H.S. Meth Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) grant but it was planned to expire after that coming year.
The Tribe was successful with its SEDS, DOJ CTAS, and TPREP applications. These resources have all been brought to bear on the objectives for this SEDS project helping to develop these two facilities and their programs. I.H.S was also able to continue to extend MSPI funding. The Tribe then revised the MSPI grant to provide additional support for recreation / alternative activities in SEDS.
The Tribe’s Behavioral Health, Education and Social Services departments were the main service department involved in the development of the SEDS grant objectives. The Tribe’s administrative, planning, grants, and engineering staff coordinated the overall project development and facility development. Education Manager April Campbell and Behavioral Health Director Kelly Nelson (both Grand Ronde Tribal members) led the Youth Activity Addition and the Women’s Transition House program development efforts. The Grand Ronde Tribal Housing Authority has also been actively involved with both objectives including assisting with the SEDS youth mural project activity and the women’s transition house. Prior to the SEDS project they also assisted with the Youth Activity Addition.
The Youth Activity Addition was completed ahead of schedule and has operated through most of this two year grant project. The Women’s Transition House fell well behind schedule. In large part this was due to having to work with the local county on a conditional use permit. Assurances from the county that the clearance would be timely and fairly straight forward proved not to be the case. It eventually required fulfilling one public notice and hearing process and then being directed to start all over again and complete a second under a different category. The environmental clearance documents also look longer. As a result the building is being built with five bedrooms and three extra “storage” rooms which cannot be used for clients until the land goes into trust. Fee to Trust is expected to be approved by BIA in October.
The Youth Drug Prevention objective project created new youth programs with the added space. The new kitchen serves as a place to hold cooking classes and to prepare meals for events and for field trips. The computer room is used for homework and recreation and the crafts room is used for cultural activities such as carving. Projects included creating murals and field trips to colleges and technical schools. Cultural strength, personal responsibility, and drug and alcohol avoidance have been included in the larger group activities. More evening and weekend events were held due to the recreation assistant included in the SEDS grant.
The Tribe held its SEDS youth and TPREP progress meetings back-to-back on the same afternoon each month. Through the TPREP grant the Tribe was able to work with the local Willamina Public School District to create and hold personal responsibility pregnancy prevention classes.
Through the SEDS grant the Tribe was able to hire a women’s support counselor who has worked with Behavioral Health staff in the development of the policies and procedures for the new transition house (which includes children), as well as providing services to many of the same clients who would be referred to the Women’s Transition House in the future. Additional treatment was also made available through SEDS.
The Women’s Transition House or Women’s Transitional Living Center is now under construction. The renovation portion of the project and the furnishings acquisition will be completed before the end of the SEDS project on 9/29/13. Unfortunately the opening of the facility will not occur during the project period.
The Tribe has included support for recreation activities in the Tribe’s next MSPI funding year and the Tribe has applied for other federal funding to help support the start up of the transition house. The Tribe is also working with HUD and the Tribal Housing Authority for supplemental operation support for the transition house, as well as working on I.H.S. and health insurance payment for services in support of the transition house. The Tribe will work with the local food bank, the Tribe’s Social Services Department, and with the Tribe’s Head Start program for other assistance to eligible residents of the Grand Ronde Transitional Living Center. The center will primarily serve Tribal members, and occasionally family of members, and members of other tribes when reimbursable funding is accessible.
The expected results for the youth prevention objective was a 20 percent increase in youth involvement, involvement of a total of 80 at-risk youth in events and 25 in daily activities. A 15 percent reduction in youth drug use and a 15 percent reduction in teen pregnancy were expected outcomes. The Tribe expects to be able to report that these were all met.Due to the delay with construction of the transition house its operations will not be measurable during the project period. The men’s transition house from 2005 resulted in a change in recidivism from 75 percent to 50 percent. We also expect to see that much of a decline in recidivism with the women’s facility.