Sunday May 22nd 2022

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Posts Tagged ‘AICDC’

Historic Move for Tough Times

There’s no denying that our society today is highly polarized, but even during these grim times, you can find examples of cooperation, as groups pull together to serve and strengthen our community. Case in point: the Urban Indigenous Legacy Initiative. We are a collective of 16 American Indian nonprofit organizations in the Twin Cities that have provided the community with powerful and effective support for more than four decades. Each year, our organizations – focused on issues ranging from healthcare to housing, workforce development to childcare – reach more than 10,000 of our neighbors with critical support. But there’s a problem. The COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest of the past two years have made life even tougher for many. Indigenous people have the highest level of death per 100,000 residents than any other group in the state, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. And from an economic perspective, American Indian employment is down 13 percent from 2019 in Minnesota, with many hesitant to return to industries such as hospitality and foodservice that were hit hard during initial slowdowns. These current challenges only exacerbate the generational disparities faced by our community, creating high levels of need. For years, as we correctly devoted our resources to serving clients directly, we have relied on band-aid repairs for our aging facilities and struggled to keep pace with technology in the modern world. Today, as we strive to support our neighbors, we are grappling with outdated facilities that limit our capacity to serve those who need our help. So what’s the solution? As members of the Legacy Initiative, we’ve come together – in this era of state budget surpluses and federal pandemic relief – to seek $83.9 million in state funding to construct 12 new, culturally affirming buildings that will allow us to address disparities by expanding services and creating safe, empowering experiences for community [...]

Anishinabe III: Addressing Homelessness and The Opioid Epidemic

Anishinabe III: Addressing Homelessness and The Opioid Epidemic

By Tina Monje Anishinabe III, a new supportive housing building at 16th and Franklin Avenues, opened in December 2021.Photo credit: Tina Monje In December of 2021, The American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC) opened the doors of Anishinabe III, another permanent supportive housing building added to their roster. Built over the summer of 2021, this four story building on Franklin Avenue sits between the American Indian Center and the Hiawatha overpass, right across the street from the long fenced-off Wall of Forgotten Natives, on what used to be the Anishinabe Campus lawn. Nearly 30 years after the first inception of AICDC as an Indigenous-led task force, this building stands as a testament to the Corporation’s commitment to ever-evolving needs of their neighborhood and their relatives. Travis Earth-Werner, AICDC’s Program Project Manager, says this project is a reflection of AICDC’s longtime, core mission to address homeless in the Indigenous community in South Minneapolis. Anishinabe III is their continued response to the growing crisis of inaccessible housing. And like their other buildings, this new project does more than address housing. Their programs address the unique issues that arise for Indigenous people from the legacies of colonization at the intersection of healthcare and housing. Anishinabe III is an expansion of the Anishinabe Campus, the first building of which opened in 1996. Anishinabe Wakiagun, “The People’s Home” in Ojibwe, was AICDC’s first housing development project. It has 45 single room occupancy units dedicated to Indigenous adults living with chronic inebriation statuses - those who have a high rate of detox center usage, those living with permanent health effects of alcohol use, and those who continue to use alcohol, etc. AICDC expanded the Wakiagun building and their services, and in 2016 opened Anishinabe Bii Gii Wiin, “People Come Home” in Ojibwe, which offers 30 single room occupancy [...]

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