Removing Hurdles to Support Homeless Vets in Indian Country

When returning from war, Native American communities honor warriors with celebrations marked by dancing and singing. Fittingly, the Sept. 2 grand opening of the Apsaalooke Warrior Apartments in Crow Agency, Montana, featured a traditional warrior song.

Born from a vision more than a decade in the making, the new homes will provide an affordable and stable environment for homeless military veterans. The Crow Tribe counts 430 veterans among its 11,000 members. Ten percent of the tribe’s veterans are homeless. Like many veterans, Native Americans struggle with homelessness and a lack of support services following their military service.

Crow Agency's struggle to secure housing for its veterans gained attention with the story of U.S. Army veteran and Crow tribal member Seven Eggs. Nationwide 153,000 Native American veterans face housing hurdles, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Dilapidated housing, scarce federal resources and lack of access to traditional capital compound the affordable housing crisis in Indian Country. Tribes like the Crow have a difficult time raising capital for development projects because the land is governed under Indian law.

As a CDFI, Enterprise Community Loan Fund's (Loan Fund) mission is to provide capital when traditional financial institutions will not. Our support makes development possible in the face of insurmountable hurdles. Loan Fund provided the Crow Tribe a $1.5 million loan to construct the Apsaalooke Warrior Apartments, creating critically needed homes for veterans.

"Now they'll have a home, rather than place to stay or a couch to sleep on," said Crow Tribe Veterans Affairs Director Paul Littlelight.

We are proud to support the tribe’s vision for honoring its veterans through housing.