Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Anthony Scott
Lakeland News 

Wolfe Center Receives Donation From Red Lake Tribal Council


November 20, 2018

The Wolfe Center, a shelter for inebriates located in downtown Bemidji, has received a $5,000 donation from the Red Lake Tribal Council.

The donation comes after Wolfe Center Board Chairman, Reed Olson, gave a report on the functions and services provided by the shelter to the Red Lake Tribal Council.

The Wolfe Center is a nighttime shelter for chronic homeless inebriates struggling with chemical dependency. It is able to house 16 people during the winter months, and Olson gave a report on the Wolfe Center’s successes and challenges. Red Lake also provided seed money to help get the Wolfe started a few years ago.

Olson provided a two-page report that gave numbers for the winter months, October 2017 to April 2018, including American Indian clients, who made up just over half of the total clients the Wolfe Center served. Olson’s report included a higher number of female clients than expected, he noted.

Hospital and police referral numbers were also reported. “The police are very supportive and appreciative of our services,” said Olson. “It is much better for both police and inebriates to go to a shelter rather than to jail. Upon entering the facility, any alcohol is confiscated. This helps the inebriate from feeling the need to finish a bottle in a hurry before entering, knowing their bottle will be returned in the morning available for a quick bump to start the day warding off the inevitable hangover.”

The shelter is open from the early evening to mid-morning only. Olson hopes to provide a 24-hour 12-month shelter at some point. Other hopes for the future include hiring a full-time director and more referral services. They are exploring working closer with social service agencies on reservations, county government, and other health organizations. Red Lake Tribal Social Services appeared eager to learn more on how they might collaborate.


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