KBIC excited by opportunity to begin construction on halfway house

Daily Mining Gazette/Joshua Vissers From left, Keweenaw Bay Tribal Council treasurer Doreen Blaker, Secretary Susan LaFernier, Assistant CEO Sarah Smith, Tribal Police Chief Duane Misegan, Vice President Jennifer Misegan and director of KBIC substance abuse services Jeanne Hirzel break ground on the new halfway house near the New Day Treatment Facility in L’Anse

L’ANSE — Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) celebrated the beginning of construction of a new, yet-to-be-named halfway house in L’Anse on Thursday afternoon.

“I’m sure that many of us here have been affected in some way by substance abuse,” said KBIC Vice President Jennifer Misegan.

The new facility, which will serve 12 Native American clients and also house an outpatient program, will give people recovering from drug abuse a longer period of time to reintegrate to normal life after participating in a residential program. The need for an additional program was identified by the KBIC’s Community Policing group, which includes members from the Tribal Police, Substance Abuse Programs, and other community groups.

“The tribe is very excited to break ground today,” KBIC Assistant CEO Sarah Smith said.

The 4,500 sq. ft. building is scheduled to be built in about six months by American Indian owned company Grand River Community Development from Wisconsin. Adrian Mishiikehn King facilitated an Anishinaabe blessing and prayer as part of the groundbreaking ceremony.

The project is largely funded by a $600,000 Indian Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The remainder of the $817,000 cost will be paid by the tribe.

The name of the facility is being decided through a contest with a $200 prize. KBIC would like to find a culturally relevant name for the treatment center and step-down program. Entries can be emailed to halfwayhousecontest@gmail.com.