On Monday, Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly presented a $300,000 check to Na’Nizhoozhi Center Inc. (NCI), a detox facility that utilizes traditional and Western philosophies to encourage sobriety.
"I’m grateful to the President for taking time out on Christmas Eve to present us a check," NCI Executive Director Jay Azua said.
The Gallup, New Mexico-based detox program services between 24,000 to 30,000 people annually.
"This money will get us through the winter and allow us to continue our operations," Azua said.
Since 2003, the tribe has granted more than $13 million to NCI to help with operations, which included a $400,000 award from the Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health in March.
President Shelly said today’s check must go directly to direct services costs.
"These funds are allocated only for direct service and not for attorney fees, single audits and bonuses for staff," President Shelly said. "The funds will be used for our relatives who struggle with alcohol and substance abuse who are at risk of exposure during the harsh winter months."
President Shelly added that alcohol and substance abuse increase risk of exposure. "We have family members and relatives that are struggling with alcohol and substance abuse which takes them from their homes and brings them to border towns” President Shelly said, “Because of their struggles, they are most vulnerable to exposure and that brings me great concern."