Cass Lake: Leech Lake Band Of Ojibwe recently received a grant in the amount of $10,000 from Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless to purchase a van for homeless street outreach and homeless support services appointments. LeechLake Band Of Ojibwe will use this grant to help carry out their larger goal of addressing homelessness by following the Leech Lake Continuum of Care Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness (2011). The most urgent need is to provide emergency shelter, stabilization, and assessment that focuses on quickly moving all persons to housing.
In 2009, the Wilder Research Center conducted a Comprehensive Reservation Homeless Survey that began to assess the beginning stages of the homeless crisis in Leech Lake. In 2011, the Leech Lake Reservation Business Committee gave a directive, with support from the Bremer Foundation, to create an action plan to end homelessness. The mission of the plan is “empowering individuals and families to succeed through education, housing options, and tribal and community support by coordinating efforts to maximize resources.” In the summer of 2014, the dilemma had increased in visibility when nearly 100 people were living at the Leech Lake Veteran’s Memorial Grounds in Cass Lake.
“Most homeless individuals have found shelter for the winter; however a few who were unable to locate shelter set up tent shacks behind the Indian Health Service (I.H.S) Hospital in Cass Lake,” says Tribal planner, Nicole Hendrickson.
The funding will purchase a pre-owned 10 passenger van to be used to provide transportation to individuals and families without permanent housing or who may live on the streets. The van will also be used to transport a team of service providers to the shelter, or vice versa, to transport the homeless to supportive services in Deer River or Cass Lake. The van will also be used to transport food from the store/food shelf to the shelter.
Great thanks go to the generous donors to Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless for this grant!