Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

Brighter Days / Victims of Crimes Act (VOCA) Update

By Carla Ruuskanen, Director
We are excited to announce the progress made on the Brighter Days program and office space.
On October 1, 2019, the Sokaogon Chippewa Community was awarded the VOCA grant for the first time. The grant is designed to help victims of crime become “whole” again through personal advocacy and by obtaining the professional mental, physical and medical help they need.
The types of victimization the Brighter Days program assists with are:
  • Adult Physical Assault
  • Adult Sexual Assault
  • Adults Sexually Abused/Assaulted as Children
  • Child of Physical Abuse/Neglect
  • Child of Sexual Abuse/Assault
  • Domestic and/or Family Violence
  • DUI/DWI incidents
  • Elder Abuse/Neglect
  • Human Trafficking: Sex
Given limited space in the Family Services Building, the Tribal Council approved use the building that sits behind Family Services for the Brighter Days program.
Due to the condition of the building, renovations were needed. A request for bid went out and was awarded to a contractor for the construction project that includes building three offices and a waiting room in the old community room, main bathroom, laundry room and reception area. All areas will receive new paint and flooring.
Renovations started the second week of February and are coming along nicely. See the pictures below.
A second, one-time grant was to purchase office furniture, chairs, tables, bulletin boards, brochure holders and bookcases was awarded for $9,998, and added to the original grant received. These funds will be expended approximately one month prior to the completion of the renovations to the building.
Moving forward, we intend to seek other funding opportunities to complete the renovations of the apartment units and furnish them for use by Brighter Days clients only. The two apartments on the north side of the building remain emergency housing units through Family Services.
I work Mondays and Tuesdays. Carla Storm is the Supervisor/Case Manager and works Monday through Thursday. A third position for a Case Manager/Outreach Specialist, has been posted and interviews are in the next week or so. This position will be full time, also working Monday through Thursday. The program will be fully staffed once this position is hired.
Both Carla and I are working hard on the structure of the program by drafting policies and procedures and building relationships with key partners including, but not limited to, the Association on American Indian Affairs, End Domestic Abuse WI, Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault (WCASA), Strong Hearts Native Help Line, Healing Intergenerational Roots (HIR) Wellness Center, and the Aldi Foundation.
If you need assistance, please feel free to contact either of us. You may email me or call 715-622 0060. You may also email Carla Storm or call her at 715-622-0558.