(L to R) Orchard Road Community Outreach representatives Shad Taylor and Sheridan and Jerri Jones, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Frankie Hargis, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Principal Chief Bill John Baker, and Orchard Road Community Outreach representatives Max and Karen Ford and Darrel and Sue Ella Self.
STILWELL, OKLAHOMA — The Cherokee Nation recently donated $80,000 to the nonprofit Orchard Road Community Outreach in Stilwell for the construction of a women’s shelter for the community.
The tribe donated the money from its special projects fund to complete construction of a 12,000-square-foot building on Black Jack Street the organization bought in 2012. The shelter will house up to 10 women and their children and provide a common area, kitchen and laundry.
“Domestic violence has scourged Indian Country for far too long, and the Cherokee Nation is honored to partner with Orchard Road Community Outreach and start combating this epidemic by providing the essential services of housing and safety to the people of Adair County and surrounding areas in hopes of restoring lives and peace of mind to those suffering,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “The shelter will provide invaluable support and therapeutic service to women and families who are absolutely in need of this kind of assistance. In many of these cases, survivors of domestic violence have lost their identity and way, and we have an opportunity to help them regain their self-esteem and their life.”
The shelter will also feature a recreation and fitness area.
“A facility that will serve as a safe haven for women and children in dangerous situations is sorely needed, and will not only serve citizens in Adair County, but surrounding counties as well,” said Tribal Councilor Frankie Hargis, of Stilwell. “Orchard Road Community Outreach has proven they have a heart for people in need through their other ventures and proven to be a fantastic partner for the Cherokee Nation. The nonprofit continues to be great stewards of the investments we have made in their organization.”
The Orchard Road Community Outreach was established in 2009 and has since helped thousands of men, women and children with lodging, food and other essentials to overcome emergencies.
“This women’s shelter is going to be huge asset for the women and children in need in the surrounding area, and we could not have been able to complete it without the generosity of the Cherokee Nation,” said Orchard Road Community Outreach board member Max Ford. “I thank Chief Baker, Deputy Chief Crittenden and Tribal Councilor Hargis for helping make ORCO’s vision a reality.”
The organization also opened Turning Point, an emergency housing shelter for men and women, in October 2013. It was previously the old Circle Inn Motel in Stilwell. The nonprofit used a $105,000 Cherokee Nation Community Work Grant for that renovation project.
Bedding, pillows, linen and furniture for the women shelter were donated by Cherokee Nation Businesses. The nonprofit organization expects the shelter to be complete by the end of the year.
For more information on Orchard Road Community Outreach, visitwww.orcoutreach.org.