Tag: Solutions Desk

Envisioning recovery and rebuilding a life in Noatak

Karen Mitchell is the Behavioral Health Aide in Noatak, a small village in the Northwest Arctic. Twenty-five years ago, as she stared out the window of her home there, such a future seemed impossible.

When a step back into prison is really a jump forward on the road to recovery

Alexandria Niksik has been in and out of prison for seven years. Her most recent return home only lasted 16 days. But what might look like failure from the outside is actually a key step toward success and recovery from alcohol misuse.

Karluk Manor evacuated, turns to church for shelter

When the earthquake struck, the 46 residents of Karluk Manor had nowhere safe to go until a church quickly opened their doors.

Helping people who are homeless with improved behavioral health care

Addressing issues of homelessness in Anchorage means improving the mental health care system.

How little organizations make a big difference through collaboration

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

Community health aides: Alaska’s unique solution for rural health care

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.

U.S. Surgeon General: Use partnerships, end stigmas to stop opioid epidemic

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

Kunniak’s Spices brings new flavors to Native dishes

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.

Prison art market has its limits

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.

Philanthropic horticulturists and other prison community leaders

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.

When prisoners own the store, everyone profits

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.

How little investments can lead to big community change

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.

When traditional banking isn’t an option, try this out instead

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?

Guiding peers on the path to recovery from addiction

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.

Can a liquor store help a community solve alcohol-related problems?

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.

Ironworkers help men prep for life outside of Goose Creek Correctional Center

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

Turning a temporary stay into long-term stability, 30 days at a time

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.

Drawing on historical strengths to prevent problems in the future

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.

Kiana youth turn boring meetings into lifelong skills

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.

After a tragedy, a Yup’ik dance group in Hooper Bay keeps dancing

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.