SEATTLE — The Chief Seattle Club held a grand opening for its new affordable housing complex and medical clinic, ʔálʔal.
The organization's new housing complex offers 80 units geared toward Native tenants. The clinic, run by the Seattle Indian Health Board, offers mental health, substance abuse and primary care medical services.
The building was named for the Lushootseed word for "home," ʔálʔal.
"Our land was taken from us and often renamed," said Executive Director of Chief Seattle Club Derrick Belgarde. "But today, we can celebrate that the tides have turned. We now have the ability to acquire property, reclaim space and name sites in a Native informed way such as ʔálʔal."
There are currently over 90 Native people living in the building.
A café in the building will open to the public in November. It will feature coffee and food from a Native American-themed menu.
ʔálʔal is just the first in a series of affordable and permanent housing developments the Chief Seattle Club will open in the next year.
Between December and January, the Chief Seattle Club will open the Goldfinch Apartments in Fremont, which will have 63 units for Native elders 55 and older. During the same period, the Chief Seattle Club will open another building called the Salmonberry lofts which will have 76 affordable housing units for Native people.
The Chief Seattle Club will also be expanding its shelter capacity by opening up a new tiny house project which will have 25 beds. It's a sister project to Eagle Village, which was the club's first long-term enhanced shelter housing project that opened in 2019.
Two months ago, the club broke ground in Lake City on the site of their future Sacred Medicine House, which will provide another 120 units that will open in 2023.
The club is in the early stages of a joint venture project with Bellwether Housing, an affordable housing developer in King County. The project will open 200 units on a site on the North Seattle College Campus for Native families.