Located in Cass Lake, Minnesota, the Leech Lake Reservation’s Anishinaabe Women’s Halfway House is a residential treatment program for Native American women. The Leech Lake tribe of Ojibwe is comprised of fewer than 10,000 registered Native Americans and is one of the smallest percentages of landowners in the state. On a larger scale, the Leech Lake tribe is a part of the greater whole that is the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe.
The Chippewa Tribe extends through Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Mille Lacs, Leech Lake and the White Earth reservations. Recognizing that state-funding can go along way towards assisting with recovery, the Anishinaabe Woman’s Halfway Home opened their doors to the community and uses a holistic and evidence-based approach to treating addiction and substance abuse.
Accommodations and Food
The Anishinaabe home is new—fewer than five years old—and offers a sober residential setting for women to experience the comforts of home while they undergo treatment for addiction and substance abuse. Located in a safe residential neighborhood, the house is within close proximity to Dreamcatcher park as well as grocery stores and a thriving recovery community. To ensure the safety of residents, the house is regularly patrolled by Leech Lake security and is within minutes from the Tribal Police force. Anishinaabe is also outfitted with security cameras for additional safety concerns.
The house accommodates seven women in three bedrooms; two rooms are double-occupancy, and the third is a triple. Clients sleep in twin beds with all linens (towels and sheets) provided for the duration of their stay. Each room has a shared closet and dresser. The house has two bathrooms available and women are asked to provide their own toiletries. There are on-site laundry facilities.
During treatment, clients are allowed to have their cellphones but there is no internet available; residents must find public spaces for computer and internet use. The living room offers comfortable seating arrangements for holding group meetings and for relaxing, with a TV and DVD player available as well as a small movie library. Located next to the living room is the dining area and a fully equipped kitchen. While some food is donated to Anishinaabe House, in the spirit of working towards building confidence and cultivating self-reliant behavior, residents are responsible for purchasing their own groceries and preparing their own meals. The women are also encouraged to contribute dishes to communal meals.
A fenced-in yard has both a grassy area with a picnic table and a children’s jungle gym for visitors.
Treatment and Staff
All treatment at Anishinaabe is based on 12-step principles and Native American beliefs. The clinical staff work with the client on a holistic treatment approach, joining together the mind, body and spirit to create an inner environment for change.
Prior to enrollment, clients must be assessed through Social Services and referred via Rule 25—a state designation declaring that the individual requires chemical dependency treatment and financial assistance for services. If accepted, women are assigned to a counselor with whom they develop an individualized treatment plan. All clients stay for a minimum of 90 days and are invited to stay as long as six months.
Clients receive approximately 15 hours per week of substance abuse treatment. All therapy is focused specifically on women’s issues including a focus on recovering from trauma. A total of six female clinical staff members make up the treatment team at Anishinaabe; four technicians, one LCDC and a house manager. In addition to individual sessions, clients participate in group therapy with topics including relapse prevention and grief and loss work. The clinical staff utilize CBT.
The Anishinaabe house has a strong 12-step focus and all clients are required to attend daily off-site meetings. Seeking sponsorship and working the 12 steps are required and women are also encouraged to develop a relationship with a Higher Power of their choosing. Anishinaabe’s program also incorporates Tribal beliefs and customs of the local Chippewa.
Clients are encouraged to consider the staff members and housemates like a family unit. With a policy of honesty and forthrightness enforced, the concept of a loving community is considered conducive to recovery. Anishinaabe also believes strongly in keeping the family unit connected throughout the treatment period and to this end, family and friends may visit the facility each Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4:30 pm and on Wednesdays from 3 to 6 pm. Family are encouraged to stay and have dinner after visiting hours. On holidays the family may visit from 1 to 4:30 pm.
Anishinaabe holds group sessions with family members once per week. Counselors work with the family to establish a recovery plan for after discharge and to understand their role in the recovery process.
Clients are also taken out for recreational activities on weekends. Trips to movies and attending Tribal Headquarters events are regular favorites.
The Anishinaabe Women’s Halfway House is a bit of a misnomer, as this facility has all the benchmarks of a comprehensive residential program. The gender-specific substance abuse treatment for Chippewa women incorporates evidence-based methods and the 12 steps. With only seven beds available, a wait-list is likely. With comfortable accommodations and an intimate family-like environment combined with a structured treatment program, required daily attendance of meetings and a focus on the spiritual aspects of recovery, residents are afforded all the benefits of a much more expensive program.
Anishinaabe Women’s Halfway House
113 7th St NW
Cass Lake, MN 56633
Anishinaabe Women’s Halfway House Cost: Sliding scale (30 days). Reach Anishinaabe Women’s Halfway House by phone at (218) 335-8288. Find Anishinaabe Women’s Halfway House on Facebook
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