Local resources react to Seattle housing for Native people struggling with homelessness

Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 7:14 PM AKST
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Eagle Village in Seattle, Washington is a neighborhood made up of several modular buildings that are dedicated to housing Native American and Alaska Native people struggling with homelessness.

Chief Seattle Club in collaboration with King County, opened up the village in late October. The neighborhood can house around 30 people.

"We actually need specific housing, specific funding for our communities," said Derrick Belgarde, the Deputy Director of the Chief Seattle Club. The biggest thing we're trying to do is foster a really strong sense of community, a place they can all learn get along, get a support group going."

Lisa Sauder, the executive director of Bean's Cafe, likes the idea. She said for a similar resource to come to Alaska is just a matter of funding, although communities for Alaska Natives struggling with homelessness are currently available.

"The Tanana Chiefs in Fairbanks have had a housing first project for a number of years that is really focused on Alaska Native culture so we are doing some of that in Alaska and I would love to see something like that in Anchorage and other parts of the state as well," Sauder said.

According to Derrick Belgarde, out of the many tribes they serve, the largest group that they help are Alaska Natives.

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