$20 million substance abuse treatment center coming to Keller

By: The Star - Feb 12, 2020
Source: The Star

It looks like the Colville Tribes will soon have their first substance abuse treatment center.

The tribes announced Feb. 3 that a $20 million, 32-bed treatment center will be located in Keller, facilitated by tax credits to two companies investing in the project.

Craft3 is a "non-bank community lender" that "lends to established nonprofits and growing and start-up businesses," and in April 2019, was one of 73 organizations awarded New Markets Tax Credits by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Ecotrust, a Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit that is "committed to work that advances economic, social, and environmental well-being," is also an investor in the project, the release states.

Created by Congress in 2000, the NMTC program allows investors to provide capital to community development entities that in exchange are awarded credits against their federal tax obligations.

"The Colville Tribes is gratified that it will be able to utilize the New Markets Tax Credit program to address the health and wellness of our tribal citizens and the surrounding communities," said Rodney Cawston, chairman of the Colville Business Council. "The facility will address a longstanding need in our area."

The Colville Tribe Health and Human Services Department refers roughly 70 tribal members annually to residential treatment programs, but continuously faces challenges finding off-reservation facilities for its members. The new facility will help alleviate some of that need.

It will offer a broad range of services and treatment lengths to adults based on the needs of the patients, including individual and group therapy and counseling, family counseling, laboratory tests, psychological tests, and room and board.

The tribes said the facility is a key part of the Tribe's goals to decrease alcohol and substance abuse deaths by 50%, reduce alcohol and drug recidivism rates by 25%, and increase on-reservation employment by 25%.

"Substance abuse is a treatable disease, but access to inpatient programs has been a barrier for many in our community and the surrounding areas," said Jack Ferguson, vice-chairman of the Colville Business Council and Keller District representative. "This new facility in Keller will address that need and increase access to care."

More than 9,531 descendants of 12 aboriginal tribes of Indians are enrolled in the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Approximately 5,520 tribal members live in Okanogan, Ferry and Grant Counties.