Hooper Bay, Alaska – The Native Village of Hooper Bay and Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. (RurAL CAP) will host a grand opening of Bay Haven, a domestic violence and sexual assault (DVSA) shelter in Hooper Bay on June 19.
The grand opening ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. outside the shelter and practice COVID-19 precautions. The event will host both local and remote speakers including Hooper Bay Tribal Chief Eric Olson, RurAL CAP CEO Patrick M. Anderson and Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Also featured will be small group tours of the shelter and a luncheon for the community.
Designed through extensive collaboration with community stakeholders, Bay Haven will offer comprehensive services and support for victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault in Hooper Bay and the surrounding sub-region including Chevak and Scammon Bay beginning June 22.
RurAL CAP worked with the Native Village of Hooper Bay to identify funding and is partnering with regional and statewide organizations that are experienced in facilitating victim services in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region to plan and implement this project.
Though the shelter has not yet opened its doors to the public, Bay Haven Victim Services Coordinator, Emma Smith, notes that the shelter is taking calls from community members who are eager to use these services.
“We welcome anyone who needs help to call and ask for advice,” said Chief Olson. “The seed for this project was planted many years ago, and it has kept growing. We can’t express our gratitude to RurAL CAP for making this shelter possible.”
Renovation of the facility’s three-bedroom apartment, provided by the Sea Lion Corporation, began last year. The shelter holds a maximum capacity of 15 clients. In partnership with the Native Village of Hooper Bay, RurAL CAP will staff the shelter 24 hours a day, seven days a week with victim service advocates and community outreach and legal workers trained in trauma-informed services.
“Our goal through the many partnerships we’ve established with this shelter is to address Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the Hooper Bay sub-region,” Anderson said. “Ultimately, through acceptance and acknowledgement, families can learn to heal from these traumas.”
RurAL CAP also aims to assist the Native Village of Hooper Bay in independently operating the shelter after an initial period of partnering to launch and support the facility.
This initiative was made possible by many volunteers and donors from the Hooper Bay region and statewide as well as by major partners including: U.S. Department of Justice, Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples, Rasmuson Foundation, Coastal Villages Region Fund, Sea Lion Corporation, Emmonak Women’s Shelter, Tundra Women’s Coalition, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center and the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA).
Those interested in contributing to the Hooper Bay Victim Services Project can make donations to the “Hooper Bay Domestic Violence Shelter Fund” by visiting bit.ly/HooperBayDVShelter or searching the Fundly website at www.fundly.com.
Governed by a 24-member Board of Directors representing the public sector, the private sector, and the different regions of rural Alaska, RurAL CAP is a private, statewide, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. With a mission to empower low-income Alaskans through advocacy, education, affordable housing and direct services that respect Alaskan’s unique values and cultures, RurAL CAP collaborates with community partners to ensure that all Alaskans have access to the vital services needed to promote the vision of Healthy People, Sustainable Communities, Vibrant Cultures.