FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 28, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 27, 2017
Esther Lucero, Chief Executive Officer of the Seattle Indian Health Board; Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club; and Norine Hill, Executive Director of Mother Nation, are pleased to announce that our three organizations have collectively secured $2,430,840 in funding from the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department to address homelessness among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) living in Seattle and King County, Washington. This unique opportunity will allow us to provide critical services to Seattle’s AI/AN community and will reduce the disparity in rates of homelessness experienced by urban AI/ANs. Our organizations are excited to work together in partnership and collaboration to serve the homeless Native community of Seattle, and each of our partner organizations will leverage our unique strengths and capacities to improve the health and well-being of our community’s most vulnerable members. SIHB would also like to congratulate United Indians of All Tribes Foundation on their funding award under this initiative to provide much needed services to the homeless AI/AN population of Seattle.
The genesis for this project began in 2015 when Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club, founded the Coalition to End Urban Indian Homelessness, which includes AI/ANs, non-profits, government and philanthropic partners. The Coalition has demonstrated success in bringing the attention of policymakers to the disparity in rates of homelessness of AI/AN people. This grant award represents the most important success of the Coalition to date, and for the first time social service supports for homeless AI/ANs will be coordinated among a coalition of Native organizations of Seattle. Coordinated case management among our three organizations will ensure that homeless AI/AN are provided with a full continuum of support including medical and mental health services, substance abuse treatment and prevention, traditional medicine, and domestic violence prevention. Through the efforts of our Coalition – a joint effort between SIHB, Chief Seattle Club, Mother Nation, and United Indians of All Tribes Foundation – we will reduce rates of homelessness among Seattle’s AI/AN community, and we will provide policymakers with evidence of the success of community-based and culturally competent approaches to addressing homelessness.
SIHB would like to thank Colleen Echohawk, Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club, Norine Hill, Executive Director of Mother Nation, and Mike Tulle, Executive Director of United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, for their leadership and years of hard work serving the Native community of Seattle, and for their efforts to bring attention to the unacceptable disparities in homelessness experienced by our community. SIHB is proud to partner with Chief Seattle Club, Mother Nation, and United Indians of All Tribes Foundation to serve our community collaboratively and to address the intersectional challenges of homelessness and poor health outcomes. Our Coalition will provide a complementary approach to addressing health and homelessness among urban AI/AN in Seattle and King County, and we are excited to begin this important work.