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July 30, 2014

CPN secures funding for community safe room and elder’s program


Attempting to improve safety and preparedness in light of the devastating 2013 storm season, Citizen Potawatomi Nation has secured federal funding for a community safe room which will be located at the Grand Complex located along Interstate 40.

“With the assistance from FEMA and our Tribal Legislature, we’ll be able to provide shelter for our members, employees and local community members when the worst happens,” said CPN Director of Safety Tim Zientek. “This storm shelter can protect thousands, and is just another way for CPN to help out when we’re needed most.” 

The FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation community safe room grant is a two year project. . 75 percent of the cost of the project will be covered by the federal government, while Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s legislature has provided funding for the remaining 25 percent. For construction and management costs, the federal government will fund more than $1.9 million over the course of the project, while CPN’s legislature has provided funding for approximately $643,000.

CPN Legislative Resolution 14-19-JPS identifies “tornadoes as a high priority hazard” and declares that the tribal community safe room project will mitigate the loss of life and property within the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Once completed, the safe room, located west of the recently opened Grand Event Center, will provide shelter for up to 2,500 people.

CPN’s Title VI grant award, which funds the tribal elder care program, is funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Community Living – (Administration on Aging). The  grant awards provide more than $210,000 in federal funds to provide nutrition and supportive services to tribal elders as well as their caregivers.

“The grant funding Title VI receives is crucial to the program. Simply put, we would not be here without it,” explained program director Tami Fleeman. “It allows us to provide nutritious meals to Native American elders and provide them with a place to socialize, ask questions regarding their health and other issues they are dealing with, and most of all to have a nutritious meal. For the majority it is their biggest meal of the day. If they did not have this program, many would not have enough food to keep them healthy.”

Title VI is open to all Native Americans who live in CPN’s jurisdiction and are over the age of 55. Each weekday it provides a free and healthy lunch for participants while also giving access to the CPN wellness center and other activities throughout the week. Monthly visits by the tribal community health representatives provide blood pressure and blood sugar screening in addition to nutritional information and other supportive services.

If you would like to learn more about the Title VI program, please visit www.potawatomi.org/services/elders or call 405-214-5111. Program Director Tami Fleeman can also be reached at tfleeman@potawatomi.org.