A safe place to stay
Fort Berthold Domestic Violence Shelter opens
By Jerry W. Kram
The prairie wind whipped across hills and valleys of the Mandaree area Monday, April 7, as members of the community gathered for the grand opening of Fort Berthold Coalition Against Violence Family Shelter.
The shelter is the culmination of a campaign by the coalition to make a safe place for women and children fleeing violent situations on the reservation. Coalition Director Sadie Young Bird said that in the past women and their children who needed assistance on the reservation were taken to shelters in Minot and Bismarck to find a safe place for them to stay. The shelter will serve all areas of the Reservation including White Shield, Twin Buttes, New Town and Parshall.
"It’s been really crazy but we just have a few loose ends to tie up," Young Bird said. "But we will be open for business next week. It is such a needed thing in our community. It will increase our safety as well because our staff won’t have to be on the road all night driving women to shelters."
Sometimes the 4 Bears Lodge would have rooms available for the Coalition, but those became harder to get as the people flooded the area with the oil boom.
"My staff was always on the road to Bismarck and Minot," Young Bird said. "Sometimes they would have to go as far as Fargo. One time they had to go all the way to Sioux Falls because we couldn’t find any other place for them to go."