HUD Awards Otoe-Missouria Tribe $386,325 to Support Coronavirus Efforts
RED ROCK, Okla. – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $386,325 to the Otoe-Missouria Tribe recently, to build a COVID-19 Response Center at the Tribal Complex.
The grant was portion of $2.8 million awarded to Oklahoma tribes across as part of HUD's Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) Imminent Threat program, which provides funding to help address problems that pose an imminent threat to public health or safety of tribal residents.
This funding must specifically be used to help tribes prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19.
The Otoe-Missouria Tribe will use the $386,325 ICDBG-CARES Act grant funding to build a 2,500 square foot building that will be the tribe's COVID-19 Response Center. The building will house a public health nurse and one additional health department/emergency response staff member. Once completed, the tribe will be able to screen and test tribal members, tribal employees and community members for COVID-19.
The new building will also house the additional supplies needed to adequately prevent the spread of COVID-19 including industrial cleaning supplies and equipment, diagnostic technology and personal protective equipment.
“This new facility will help the tribe better prepare and mitigate the continuing COVID-19 pandemic,” says Otoe-Missouria Emergency Manager James LeClair. “We won’t have to rely on the availability of outside resources to help us keep our community safe.”
Before being awarded the grant, the tribe had partnered with the Noble County Health Department and Pawnee Indian Health Services to host several drive thru testing events.
In addition to the Otoe-Missouria Tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma and the Quapaw Tribe were also HUD grant recipients.
A health worker screens for COVID-19 during a drive thru testing event at the Otoe-Missouria Tribal Complex in Red Rock earlier this month. The Otoe-Missouria Tribe has hosted several events at the complex to help those who live in rural Oklahoma have access to testing. The tribe was recently awarded a grant to help the tribe establish a COVID-19 Response Center at the tribal complex.