Halfway house addresses addiction epidemic

BARAGA — The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community is searching for a firm that will design a new halfway house to be located in L’Anse.

The project will consist of a new building, approximately 4,000 square feet in size and site design.

The project is budgeted for $800,000, with the majority of the funding coming from the Department of Housing and Urban Development Indian Community Block Grant for architectural and engineering services and construction costs of the building and related site.  

The grants require KBIC to solicit proposals for the project, which were due at 4 p.m. on Nov. 17.

KBIC officials said they received two proposals, which are being evaluated, with one selected this week.

Once a proposal is chosen, work on the halfway house’s design will begin. The architect will meet with the substance abuse staff and various stakeholders to decide how the building will look.

Sara Smith, KBIC assistant chief executive officer, said the inspiration behind the halfway house came from concerns expressed by community members during a policing meeting.

“One of the problems that people stated was drug overdoses,” Smith said.

The proposed solution for this problem was something that would provide “longer-term treatment after leaving residential treatment facilities,” she said.

The halfway house will “provide a better environment for the long term,” Smith said.