Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $1,190,004)
The Tulalip Tribes of Washington (pronounced Tuh’-lay-lup) is a federally recognized, sovereign Tribe located on a 22,000-acre reservation, about 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington. The reservation was established in 1855 to provide a permanent home for the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, Skykomish, Suiattle, Samish, Stillaguamish Tribes and other allied bands living in the region. Sadly, the Federal Government instituted a policy of assimilation that resulted in Tulalip children being taken from their homes and placed into an Indian Boarding School separating them from their families and stripping them of their culture, language, history and spirituality. The aftershocks of this painful, destructive legacy reverberate throughout the Tulalip community to this day. In its wake, tribal members left to cope with low education levels, high unemployment, comparatively low earned income, a significant suicide issue, and daunting drug addiction and alcohol abuse problems that fuel criminal activity.
When the COVID-19 crisis descended on the United States and the Tulalip reservation in January 2020, every fundamental community safety challenge already affecting the Tulalip community was compounded exponentially. Tulalip tribal gaming and hospitality enterprises were immediately closed, devastating Tulalips’ ability to fund essential government services such as public safety and community social services. The unprecedented and devastating impact of the pandemic amplified the effects of historical trauma already gripping our community. The current opioid crisis is destroying and taking the lives of Tribal members and has resulted in significant and tragic impacts on families and the community's social fabric.
The qʷibilalʔtxʷ Healing Lodge was created as a culturally sensitive transitional home that provides a safe, secure, supportive, and stable environment for Native Americans seeking to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. The Healing Lodge offers up to 16 beds (8 male, 8 female; including 4 ADA beds), while providing a stable home for many hoping to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle. Currently, the Healing Lodge can only provide transitional housing up to 12 months while residents are engaged in intensive outpatient services provided to tribal members. Due to not having stable and affordable housing and reported homelessness, individuals who have various substance use disorder issues have returned to the Healing Lodge on several occasions. Tulalip Tribes is requesting funding for the following:
Renovate the Healing Lodge caretaker’s house to establish the new Healing Lodge Counseling Center
Convert onsite detached garage into additional group rooms
Purchase 2 permanent modular to create the Healing Lodge “Oxford” House.
The proposed Healing Lodge "Oxford” House will provide a less-structured, safe, sober living home that is affordable, longer-term (up to 2 years) transitional housing as the next step for the current residents. With the support of further independent living for its residents, they will receive vocational and educational programming, along with life skill classes. With the expansion of services provided to those affected by the opioid crisis, a new beginning in “wellbriety” will help break the generational cycles of substance use and promote healing.