One way to make money in a slow economy is to fill a gap in the market. But a local spice blend company is doing more than building bank accounts--it's also connecting people with Native dishes in a new way.
Over the past few centuries in the United States, laws and policies have favored some racial and ethnic groups over others. It's led to racial inequity in Alaska and beyond. Now different groups are working together to educate people about these problems and develop solutions.
Prison commissaries around the country make millions each year, and most of the profits go to private companies. But not at Spring Creek Correctional Center, where the prisoners own and operate the store and use the profits to benefit the communities inside and outside the prison walls.
Seward, Alaska used to host a lot of bake sales. It was the only way to raise money for small organizations. Now, instead of buying cupcakes, people can donate little bits of money that are invested and help the whole community go a long way.
Let’s say you want to start a business or buy a house. You’ll probably need a loan from a bank. That means you need a good credit history or collateral – something to prove that you’ll pay it back. But if that’s not an option… then what? Welcome to a Community Development Financial Institution – or CDFI.
Many crimes are fueled by drug and alcohol addictions. So what can prevent some criminal activity? Helping people receive treatment.
During Community in Unity: Recovery Behind Bars, inmates, staff, and other community members gathered inside Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla, Alaska to share stories about treatment, crime, and recovery.
Alcohol abuse is an issue throughout the country, even in areas where it's illegal. Banning alcohol doesn't always solve the problem, so should communities try swinging the other way and make it more available? Could opening a liquor store help a community, not harm it? The village of Kiana in northwest Alaska is finding out – and reviews are mixed.
Life at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission isn't bad -- the beds are warm, the people are supportive, and it's safe. But for some, the emergency homeless shelter was too comfortable. People wouldn't leave. So staff developed a new way to send people out the door quickly while helping them stand on their own two feet.
Alaska's foster care system has problems. Caseworkers don't stick around for long. It can take years for young people to find permanent homes or be reunited with their families. But new legislation could provide solutions that will help everyone involved with the system.
Rural Alaska often makes the headlines for what isn't working -- high suicide rates, high alcohol usage. But one program in southwest Alaska is drawing from Yup'ik culture to flip that narrative on its head and focusing on the region's strengths. And the research shows, it's making a positive difference in the lives of the young people.
Some people stay at the Fairbanks Correctional Center for a few days. Others are at the pre-trial facility for years. Most of the inmates are living their lives in limbo — awaiting their trials, their sentencing, and their futures. During "Community in Unity: Life in Limbo" about 70 people, including inmates, correctional center staff, and other community members, gathered for an hour-long conversation inside the prison. They shared stories about life behind that walls and what's happening...
Young people make all of the decisions to put together a multi-day conference in Kiana. Though some of the meetings for OPT In Kiana may not seem fun, they have lifelong effects on the young people and their abilities to face challenges.
About six years ago community members in Hooper Bay, Alaska worked together to revive a Yup’ik dance group for young people. The idea was to help connect kids to their culture, teach about the effects of alcohol and drugs, and prevent suicide. And it has worked --but not with every kid. Here's why this program matters despite its imperfections.
For most healthcare systems, mental health and physical health are two separate issues. Not at one of the largest healthcare providers in Alaska, where doctors and behavioral health consultants work together with a new mindset.