Tag: Solutions Desk

Solving community problems can be hard, unless you tap into the power of collaboration. This is how Chickaloon does it.

Fifty years ago, Alaska had a really big problem: it was hard to get medical care in small, rural communities. To solve it, the Indian Health Service worked with local governments and Congress to create the Community Health Aide Program. And it's still making communities healthier.

The Surgeon General spoke about his approach to ending the opioid epidemic and its root causes.

One way to make money in a slow economy is to fill a gap in the market. But a local spice blend company is doing more than building bank accounts--it's also connecting people with Native dishes in a new way. Kunniak's Spices pairs flavors like lemon, garlic and ghost pepper with Alaska Native dishes like Maktak.

At Spring Creek Correctional Center, the prison store funds the clubs. The clubs fund the hobby shop. And the hobby shop creates an outlet for growth but only limited options for making money - right now.

The world inside Spring Creek Correctional Center is in many ways just like the world outside. Prison clubs function as nonprofits, filling service gaps and trying to build healthier communities.

Prison commissaries around the country make millions each year, and most of the profits go to private companies. But not at Spring Creek Correctional Center, where the prisoners own and operate the store and use the profits to benefit the communities inside and outside the prison walls.

Seward used to host a lot of bake sales. It was the only way to raise money for small organizations. Now, instead of buying cupcakes, people can donate little bits of money that are invested and help the whole community go a long way.

Let’s say you want to start a business or buy a house. You’ll probably need a loan from a bank. That means you need a good credit history or collateral – something to prove that you’ll pay it back. But if that’s not an option… then what?

The path to recovery from drug or alcohol addiction can be long, arduous, and isolating. Now people in the Mat-Su Valley have a new place to start the journey -- and guides to help them along the way.

Alcohol abuse is an issue throughout the country, even in areas where it's illegal. Banning alcohol doesn't always solve the problem, so should communities try swinging the other way and make it more available? Could opening a liquor store help a community, not harm it? The village of Kiana is finding out – and reviews are mixed.

At Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla, inmates can learn the basic concepts of welding using simulators, but until recently they haven't been allowed access to real welding machines. Listen now

Emergency shelters are supposed to be supportive safe havens. But in Fairbanks, it was a little too supportive. So staff developed a new plan for pushing people out the door by helping them stand on their own feet.

When rural Alaska makes the headlines, the focus is often on things like suicide rates, alcohol use, and trauma. But one project in southwest Alaska shifts attention to strengths instead. Qungasvik was developed by Yup'ik people, for Yup'ik people and is proving to be an effective way to help youth in parts of southwest Alaska thrive.

Young people make all of the decisions to put together a multi-day conference in Kiana. Though some of the meetings for OPT In Kiana may not seem fun, they have lifelong effects on the young people and their abilities to face challenges.

Yup'ik dancing has helped people connect and heal for centuries. It can't prevent all tragedies, but this Hooper Bay group shows that it can help.

When thinking about suicide, sometimes just a few words of reassurance can make a huge difference. Here's one man's story.

What makes a healthy community? What makes young people in an Alaska village thrive? Here's the formula that's working well for Noatak, in the Northwest Arctic.

For most healthcare systems, mental health and physical health are two separate issues. Not at one of the largest healthcare providers in Alaska, where doctors and behavioral health consultants work together with a new mindset.

Andi Riley needed medical help, but even though she was working, she couldn't afford it. Until there was Medicaid expansion. It was her solution for wellness.