Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
Yurok Wellness and Safety Net Tenders
* Project Abstract
The Yurok Tribe proposes to implement the Yurok Wellness and Safety Net Tenders project, the overall goal of which is to reduce opioid-related overdose (OD) risks and avoidable deaths, disease, and other negative effects on health and social wellbeing among Yurok tribal community members. With strategic assistance from our project partners and guided by the Yurok Tribal Wellness Coalition serving as our project multidisciplinary coordinating board, we will implement lifesaving activities in our California geographic catchment area of the Yurok Indian Reservation and Humboldt and Del Norte (HM-DN) counties. Together these counties span over 5,282 square miles in this mountainous region of Northern California. Its thick cover of trees, seemingly endless rural terrain, and washed-out single-lane dirt roads, often inaccessible in the winter, provide cover for covert activities including underground cannabis cultivation and human, sex, and drug trafficking (including opioids, methamphetamine, and cannabis).
Project activities over the 3-year award period include: creating and implementing culturally specific OD reversal and response training first responders and members of other key community sectors including family members from HM and DN counties; dispensing thousands of Naloxone/other approved opioid OD devices and fentanyl test strip kits; improving local data collection; standardization, reporting, and leveraging, a harm reduction partner's low threshold buprenorphine access, and developing a screening and diversion program with DN County Justice Partners. Our project will be housed under the Yurok Tribal Court to enhance tribal wellness services and referrals to outside community assistance such as shelter, housing, and domestic violence and behavioral health services.