Nenana Wellness Coalition
July 19, 2016
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
We had 10 participants today: Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, Virginia Young, Tom & Nycki Saxton, Art Hill Jr., Tara, Crystal Godby and Nichole Bird.
We enjoyed Tamale Pie, mixed green salad for lunch, Ritz crackers, sliced cheese, and pecans with raisins.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Virginia Young
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: was song, Blessed is The Place.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no items added to the agenda.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes last week were posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org and submitted electronically to the WIN e-list with no corrections.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Art Hill Jr. was introduced and welcomed. Nikki was welcomed back.
Nenana Saturday Market: Virginia says the market is plugging right along. The doors continue being unlocked at 8 AM for people to set up with vendors mostly all in place by 10 AM which is when customers usually begin flowing in. We have a new vendor who was selling kippered fish. Another vendor has expressed interest in doing massage work.
Nenana Sober House Project: Kat said that this is the eighth year that the little Sober House has been in existence and that with few exceptions it has been continuously occupied. There has been about a 50% success rate of people being able to utilize the sober house to achieve stability, obtain employment, gather their resources and eventually move on to housing of their own. Kat mentioned there have been only a couple issues with problematic behavior regarding drug/alcohol use or other disorderly behaviors. However, there is a long pattern of people asking to be allowed to stay in the Sober House while it is already occupied. Some of these requests have been due to DV situations and the proper referral would be to the NNC Safe House but there are structural issues due to the pipes freezing and bursting.
Kat has been looking at one of the derelict trailers on her property and wonders if the framework of it could be used to build a second two room Sober House. The floor is shot and would need to be ripped completely out and replaced. The roof has been leaking, and would need to be resealed or replaced. There’s considerable internal damage, but the “bones” of the structure are metal and she presumes intact. She believes that with salvaged building materials as possible it would take only a couple thousand dollars to make the structure habitable as a wood stove heated dry “cabin.”
Kat and David have discussed this several times, especially in light of the trend of Small Houses projects in Portland and Atlanta to address homelessness. It would be good if we could organize our local resources to meet local needs. Discussion ensued. Nikki and Crystal were both willing to volunteer work effort. Tara says she would be willing to help by creating a Go Fund Me account and managing a social media campaign to garner financial support. There are local entities as well, that might be willing/able to lend assistance. It was agreed that the first step would be a close inspection of the property. Then a task list, a resources list and a materials list would need to be identified. One suggestion was we might be able to get assistance on the labor from NNC. Toghotthele and/or Tony Browning could be asked to donate lumber. For safety’s sake, Tom suggested we make sure that sheet rock is utilized and that we obtain CO and fire detectors
WELLNESS THOUGHT: “I believe much trouble and blood would be saved if we opened our hearts more.” — Chief Joseph, NEZ PERCE
Kat: Talked to Leon this weekend. He says to say Hey to everybody. The Fairbanks Folk School Week on the River has been cancelled due to rain and rising river waters so Kat will not be going there this weekend. Sadly, this means no fish.
Nichole: Has been invited to come to Old Minto and camp out a couple days early to help cut fish and other preparations for the Sobriety Pot Latch.
Nycki: Delighted to be here. Due to all the rain, she has been having flashbacks to the flood of the summer of 1964.
Bonnie: Don’t forget to attend the Old Minto Family Recovery Camp Sobriety Pot Latch Friday, July 29th.
Food boxes can be picked up Wednesday at the Senior Center.
Tom: Thinks this has been wonderful.
Tara: Is back after a three week absence. She missed Nenana while she was gone. She says, “This is the best place.” And that she is really happy to be back.
Crystal: Just moved here six months ago but also likes Nenana and really enjoyed working this summer on the peony operation out at Virginia’s.
Virginia: Needs to leave to meet the electrician.