Alice Mae Lopez, will be remembered by friends and family for her tireless efforts to provide shelter and housing for displaced Native Americans in her role as director of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Housing Department, reported Indianz.com. Lopez, 49, collapsed and died this past week at her Mashpee home from unknown causes, reported EnterpriseNews.com.
“She struggled with her own bills, but it was never, ‘I need help,’ ” said her sister Marcia of Mashpee to The Boston Globe. “It was, ‘How can I help this person?’ She opened her home to people so they would have a place to stay, or said, ‘You can pitch a tent in my yard.'”
Lopez was guiding the completion of the Mashpee Wampanoags’ first tribal housing community just before her passing, reported The Boston Globe.
“She mentored teens, she took homeless people into her home, she helped people make budgets, she helped people get groceries and furniture, and she helped the Wampanoag people keep a roof over their heads,” close friend Jessie Little Doe Baird, who recently received a MacArthur Foundation grant for her Wampanoag language work, told The Boston Globe.
Lopez and Baird were preparing to leave on a trip Jan. 2, when Lopez was found dead in her home, reported The Boston Globe.
Lopez’s funeral was held at 11 a.m. on Jan. 8, in the Old Indian Meetinghouse in Mashpee, reported EnterpriseNews.com.