TGB Approves Hardship Forms as New Procedure for Donation Requests
Updated: Feb 1
By Joe Morey
The Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board (TGB) approved a new process for donation requests, such as hotel and gas vouchers and other tribal assistance. Going forward, tribal members who request any assistance will be required to check over the attached list of tribal programs first to see if they qualify under a specific program, and if not, they will need to fill out a “hardship form” application. At the bottom of this article you will find the procedure for application and the list of programs, and other required documentation.
LCO TGB Member Glenda Barber was behind the push for a new process after numerous times the TGB had discussed the need to do something regarding hotel vouchers and other donation requests.
Over the past year, a grant the Tribe acquired was being used to pay for the hotel rooms, in an amount over $1 million dollars, but those grant funds are running dry. LCO Secretary-Treasurer Tweed Shuman noted the funds to continue covering the costs would have to come from tribal funds.
Shuman said the Tribe currently pays for 30 hotel rooms at the Amerivue Hotel in Hayward at a cost of $490 per room per week. He added there are many rooms at the Sevenwinds Lodge as well.
Glenda said last year there was no procedure in place for these requests, which include utility bills and other hardships, and she hopes the new procedure will help cut costs to the Tribe.
“Last year people would just ask for money, and we’d just give it directly to them, instead of to the utility company,” Barber said. “If it’s an immediate or urgent emergency, then they wouldn’t have to fill out the form, but otherwise, tribal members should follow the new procedure.”
Barber noted, regarding the hotel rooms, that many of the members in the hotel rooms have an income and still don’t pay anything towards the cost.
“We need to let everyone know there is no more of the grant money available and that they need to apply with the hardship form, and we’ll also know what their income is and what they can afford to pay,” Barber stated.
TGB Member Michelle Beaudin suggested tribal members in hotel rooms pay their share determined on a sliding scale based on what they make.
Barber noted there was a time when the TGB said they would match tribal members after they did their own fundraisers.
“Before you ask for a request, please check over the list to see what is available,” Barber stated.
TGB Member Don Carley also stated that letting the members know the grant funding is coming to an end, they need to start doing something for themselves.
“Under current hotel room policies, there is no incentive to get their own place when we continue to pay for their room,” stated Shuman. “We knew this was coming and we need to start do something.”
Beaudin said they can’t just tell people you have 10 to 15 minutes to be out of a room when it’s 10 below zero outside, indicating compassion needs to be considered on each individual situation.
Barber explained a situation where one lady with children was evicted and in the back of a police car because the officer didn’t know where to take her. They called the shelter and the shelter said they were waiting for her but next thing you know, she was in a hotel room.
“I don’t know who gave her a hotel room, but, if we could stick together, we can cut these costs,” Barber said.
Shuman agreed the shelters need to be utilized more.
Chairman Louis Taylor stated TGB needs to continue having the discussion because they need a plan for when the money is gone.
The new hardship forms procedure is the first step. The process for applying for a donation followed by the list of programs and the application (hardship application, proof of housing search, proof of employment search), is as follows:
1. Requester must apply to Tribal Assistance Programs before submitting Hardship Application to TGB Administrative staff for consideration. A list of Programs has been provided and possible Programs will be given to Requester to apply to.
• If deemed ineligible, attach proof of denial to the Hardship Application.
2. All requests for hardship assistance must be requested on the “Application for Hardship Assistance” form with required documentation attached. The following are exceptions to using the Form:
• Emergency gas vouchers. Some people have received numerous gas vouchers and are under the impression that gas vouchers are a “Program”. When a person has repeated requests for gas vouchers they will be directed to the appropriate Programs.
• Immediate emergencies (not “pending” emergencies such as evictions, disconnection of utilities, etc.).
3. Hardship must be verifiable. Proof of hardship is a requirement for all applicants.
4. Proof of search for permanent housing and work searches may be required in some circumstances.
5. Approved Hardship Assistance will not be paid directly to the Applicant. A check will be mailed to the documented, and verified, vendor attached to the Application.
All the forms are listed below as images you can simply click on and save to your computer, print off and fill out. The process is also listed on the application form, or you can pick up an application at the Tribal Office. Or visit the Hardship Application Page on the website
PROOF OF HOUSING SEARCH
PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT SEARCH