Native American Connections Opens New Wellness Center and Housing Units
Gila River Indian News
Native American families and veterans in need of help have two new options for assistance after Native American Connections held its grand opening ceremony to the public on March 24th. The grassroots organization opened its newly completed Patina Mountain Preserve Wellness Center and its Dunlap Pointe Housing Community, both located in North Phoenix.
The sprawling facility, a multi-year project, included financial backing from the Gila River Indian Community, which contributed $500,000 to fund part of the construction through the Community’s state shared gaming revenue. Additional backing came from the City of Phoenix and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
“One of the keys to supporting the health and wellness of Gila River community members is addressing mental health and substance use issues,” said Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis. “The Patina Mountain Preserve Wellness Center incorporates traditional Native healing ceremonies with best practices for promoting good health. This is important work, and we are proud to support this project.”
NAC President and CEO Diana Yazzie Devine said the new facility is much needed at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many Native families and individuals facing homelessness and substance abuse.
“We really have to understand how important it is to have a safe place to live and also for people recover from their substance abuse,” said Yazzie Devine
The wellness center has 48 beds for individuals, including accommodations for traditional ceremonial and healing practices.
Across from the wellness center is a 54-unit housing area dedicated to homeless veterans, who will have access to Veterans Administration case managers and services during their stays.
“With this new campus, Native American Connections is providing critical support to mitigate housing and mental health issues, while helping the City of Phoenix reach its goal to reduce homelessness by providing affordable housing and treatment resources,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.