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BOIS FORTE RESERVATION - At least 20 people and their families will have a new place to call home on the Bois Forte Reservation after new supportive housing units opened Thursday.
Band members sang a song meant to heal and give strength as a way to help their newest neighbors start the next chapter of their lives.
"It became obvious that there was a need for supportive housing for homeless band members here on the reservation," project coordinator Theresa Drift said.
The $4.7 million complex has 20 units and is expected to be a place of opportunity for band members, especially those who need help coming back to the reservation.
"They want to come home but there isn't a place for them to go," Drift said. "This project is to help them become self–sufficient."
"We've realized people that come back home may have some problems, problems in society and in general," Bois Forte Chairman Kevin Leecy said.
Units were also designed to feel like a home so that residents are able to feel secure and take the next step in leading healthy lives.
"Because when you have to worry about where you're going to sleep tonight or where you're going to get your food you can't think about what's next week," Drift said. "You can only think about what's happening the next 24 hours."
The new facility aims to provide residents with everything they need to help themselves.
An on–site staffer will be there for job training, parenting classes, mental health and chemical dependency services, financial planning and independent living skills.
It is a big step in an even bigger mission: to create positive lives for those who need it.
"We have a long ways to go, our mission isn't done here" Leecy said.
12 new units in Nett Lake already have a few residents moved in, but the grand opening will be celebrated Friday.
Four of the units will be designated for band members who are homeless.