A month ago, several people gathered at the Upper Village of Moenkopi to witness a historic event at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the new Hopi Assisted Living Facility.
Ms. Mary Shingoitewa-Navanick, Assistant Project Manager for the Hopi Assisted Living Facility (HALF) Task Team emceed the event and stated "this was a vision of our elders. Some have passed on but we continued with their dream. With strong determination, the Task Team has worked tirelessly on the project and although it has been a long time coming, we are grateful we are at this historic stage."
In the Hopi Tribe's Consolidated Strategic Plan of 1995 (Hopit Potskwaniat), an Assisted Living Facility for Hopi Elderly was listed as a priority goal. Since that time, various tribal leaders and programs attempted to get the project moving, but faced many obstacles and setbacks.
In 2007 under the Leadership of Elderly Services Director Leon Nuvayestewa, the Hopi Tribe received funding from the Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Aging and Adult Services for planning and design; from the Hopi Health Care Advisory Council for grant writing and related services and from the USDA/RBOG for feasibility study, business plan, budget and environmental assessment.
A Multi-disciplinary Team was created with the task of deciding on a facility which would fit the needs of the elderly. A Program Justification document was compiled by the New Mexico Geriatric Education Center which was crucial in the planning and development phase of the facility.
In Sept. 2008 the Tribal Council approved a resolution establishing by-laws and delegating authority to implement the design and construction phase. In 2011 Council also approved funding in the amount of $3,820,588 to begin construction.
"I wish to thank the Tribal Council, the attorneys, the Task Team and all those involved in making this a reality" said Hopi Chairman LeRoy Shingoitewa. "I also want to to express my appreciation to all those involved in planning and coordinating this project. Our prayer is for longevity of life and to one day bring all Hopi elders home."
Vice Chairman Herman Honanie spoke in Hopi as he recalled the words and wisdom of past Hopi leaders who envisioned the day when a celebration such as this would take place.
"This is a new beginning" said Vice Chairman Herman Honanie. "This is a reality of those who did not give up on their dreams. One has to have a dream and a vision to get something accomplished. I was fortunate to have known past tribal leaders who gave me wisdom. Today we celebrate this ground breaking for our elders."
On Jan. 16, contractors Brycon Corporation and Arcadis US, Inc. mobilized on site to begin construction of the 11,966 square ft. facility. Plans for completion is set for Oct. and occupancy of the facility by Dec.
Jarratt Architects were architects for the project.
HALF Task Team Members: Linda Honahni Chairperson, Kevin Nash Vice Chair, and members Barbara Phillips, Lorna Quamahongnewa, Florence Choyou, Marlene Sekaquaptewa, Melvin George, Anna Silas, Virginia Taylor and HALF Assistant Project Manager Mary Shingoitewa-Navanick and Director of Aging and Adult Services Leon Nuvayestewa.