………“Many county residents might be surprised to learn that the Leni-Lenape are still active within our area. Tyrese (pronounced Ty-ese with a silent "r" which means "flower" in Seminole) Gould is the manager of the Native Advancement Corp. She also is the daughter of the chief of the tribe that has its epicenter in Bridgeton. This organization has been implementing federal and state grants for over 20 years to improve the lives of the disadvantaged.
In 2009, the corporation was successful in applying for grants from the federal level Department of Energy administered through N.J.'s Department of Community Affairs to weatherize homes for people under a certain income level termed "impoverished” in Cape May County as well as Atlantic County.
“When we first heard we would be working in Cape May County, we thought we were going to the highest income area of N.J. but what we've discovered is quite the opposite. I would call Cape May County 'the land of the forgotten' with a huge pocket of poverty - the people are so nice but many are truly poor and these needy people live throughout the county not just in one area,' said Gould. The Native American Advancement Corp. is now serving over 375 homes in the two counties where they are presently active, Cape May County and Atlantic County.
The Corporation offers a full menu of insulation, heating replacement and energy efficiency improvements within the guidelines of DOE audits through the approximately 8.5 million dollars they have received from DCA since 2009. Corporation workers are not limited to Native Americans although the corporation itself is the only one in N.J. run by a Native American tribe in this grant program. The corporation also trains the employees who go out on the various jobs under the grants.
“We are so happy to be able to help people who are really in need," continued Gould. "My grandmother used to tell me stories that when she was growing up she wasn't allowed to ever admit outside the home that she was Native American, so I feel proud we have this opportunity to do good for others and also teach and employ people who need jobs," continued Gould.”………..
Weatherization of Native Homes
The Native American Advancement Corporation (NAAC) recognizes the need to provide weatherization assistance to Native Americans by taking into account the States plan of 5% served each grant year.
Management and staff have made a concerted effort to support and encourage service delivery through the established weatherization office within the tribal territory of Cumberland County, New Jersey.
Attending the tribes meetings and events have proven to be very beneficial. Phone calls and online materials are okay for dispensing information, but we know they leave something lacking when we really want to develop and sustain a high-quality relationship.
The local tribe initially expressed an urgent need for the State to address the lack of weatherization needs being met of their people.
NAAC's most astounding need is to expand weatherization services to Native Americans through the successful system of weatherization projects, with an emphasis on serving those living in tribal territories. Nanticoke Lenni Lenape Headquarters gives an assortment of effort to the tribal community and additionally operates their own social administration programs, incorporating culture of social understanding, to expand their abilities in living up to expectations with tribal families and individual Native Americans.
Our first undertaking was is to investigate the reasons why services are not arriving at low-income Native Americans in conjunction with service for the general low-income population.
Neighborhood CAP agencies get the lion's share of weatherization applications through the low-income LIHEAP program. This system is granted through the State of New Jersey. Not one tribe controls their own LIHEAP program for individuals for their territory and does not get the grants specifically from the State of New Jersey or the U. S. Bureau of Health and Human Services. CAP organizations never see the tribal need nor are able to help applicants; therefore, they don't get numerous tribal referrals for weatherization.
There are different obstructions to the administration of this program, including a past filled with broken promises; lost connections as individuals change positions or move; broken trust; the geographic area of the tribes; and mistaken assumptions about effort, to give some examples. The difficulties are as various and differed as the individuals in the tribe.
NAAC's part is to encourage dialog among tribe to discuss their needs and open doors, their history, and what's to come. We work to help the tribe comprehend their regular cultural needs and their uniqueness when it comes to weatherization.
Nearby organizational projects have generally depended on submission through LIHEAP to disseminate weatherization applications. This outreach is uninvolved. It relies on upon another person to make the move and complete. On the off chance that nobody applies, “no activity is required” seems to be the attitude.
Face to face outreach is dynamic. It obliges looking for, connecting, seeking after. Face to face outreach obliges an arrangement. Face to face outreach is a mindset, a method for approaching those in need. It must be incorporated with the project, not included if advantageous. Face to face outreach is not compelling when it is just being added to a program. NAAC is the contact that organizations must depend on to create outreach when focusing on weatherization for Native Americans in this territory.
The tribal system of face to face outreach is exceptional. NAAC was established first to focus on servicing just individuals from tribal region as per the New Jersey tribal administration strategy. Be that as it may, NAAC has developed into a full weatherization organization that is presently weatherizing all homes which do not at most times include tribal residents.
Initially, NAAC was also chosen to serve on the advisory board for the tribal initiative. The group is composed of representatives from all areas of targeted outreach populations. This was to be a model for representation working closely with the tribes to meet the challenges of fitting the weatherization program into their established outreach. These difficulties have been correspondence issues and they are not particularly Indian issues which has proven to be unsuccessful.
For more information about weatherization services, please contact NAAC at 856-455-0600.