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News Release

Friendship House

On November 5, 2021, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill with a vote of 228-206. The infrastructure bill, which passed the Senate in August, includes the Padilla-Moran-Lankford amendment that allows Urban Indian Organizations (UIOs) to use existing resources to fund infrastructure projects to better serve patients and families. Funding can be used by UIOs to build new facilities or remodel existing ones. Friendship House, founded in 1963, provides substance abuse treatment and recovery programs and is currently working to build the Village SF as part of the American Indian Cultural District. The Village SF will provide a community for San Francisco’s Native peoples that includes healthcare, recovery programming, and cultural opportunities.

The following statement from Abby Abinanti (Yurok), President Emeritus of the Board of Directors of Friendship House, can be quoted in full or in part.

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More than 70 percent of Native Americans and Alaska Natives live in cities, yet services for urban Natives are critically underfunded. We are grateful to Senator Padilla for recognizing the funding needs for California’s Native peoples who live in urban areas.

Since 1963, Friendship House has served the more than 6,000 American Indians from throughout the United States. We are one of many organizations across the nation providing essential and culturally appropriate social services to urban Indians. Yet, federal funding for Urban Indian Organizations has not been adequate to address the diversity of needs in our cities’ Native communities. Senator Padilla’s amendment is an excellent first step towards addressing this funding gap.

Providing a place of community, health and healing to meet the holistic needs of San Francisco’s Native peoples is our vision for the Village SF. By removing the restrictions on funding for facilities for Urban Indian Organizations, Friendship House and other organizations have another potential resource and greater flexibility to care for our Native relatives.”

Additional info:

Urban Indian Health Facilities Provider Act (H.R. 3496) introduced by Senators Alex Padilla (D-CA), James Lankford (R-OK) along with co-sponsors Moran (R-KS), Feinstein (D-CA), and Smith (D-MN)