Two Feathers Native American Family Services

Mckinleyville, CA   |  http://www.twofeathers-nafs.org

Mission

Two Feathers' mission is to inspire healthy and balanced Native American communities in Humboldt County. To achieve our goal, we work with Native American children and families in a good way, which includes using culturally based interventions that promote holistic health and developing respectful collaborations with both Native and Non-Native agencies.

Ruling year info

2002

Executive Director

Dr Virgil Moorehead Jr

Assistant Director

Dianna Heimstadt

Main address

1560 Betty Ct Ste A

Mckinleyville, CA 95519 USA

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EIN

68-0285726

NTEE code info

Community Mental Health Center (F32)

Family Services (P40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Humboldt County is home to the largest Native American population in the state and often referred to as the Heart of California’s Indian Country. Due to the lasting impacts of colonization, Native youth in Humboldt County face inequitably disparate outcomes across the domains of mental health, education, foster care and juvenile justice systems. Two Feathers seeks to prevent and reduce these outcomes through culturally-driven mental health and wellness programming, combining systems advocacy with person-centered care.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Chekws: Hope For Tomorrow

The Two Feathers Native American Family Services of Northwest California, Chekws: Hope for Tomorrow (C-HFT) Project, serves American Indian (AI) youth ages 10-18 and their families in Humboldt County. The system-wide goal for C-HFT is to build an effective, collaborative and sustainable AI-focused mental health and substance use program within two school districts to prevent suicide and improve overall well-being for AI youth and their families. The C-HFT system will operate in partnership with Klamath Trinity Joint Unified School District (KTJUSD) and Northern Humboldt School District (NH), including 24 schools and over 1,200 AI students. C-HFT will also work closely with Humboldt County Department of Mental Health and Stanford Psychiatry, Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Well-Being to offer trainings on suicide assessment, prevention, and intervention, as well as telemedicine psychiatric services for acute cases in the schools.
Goal 1: Increase the number of culturally competent professionals able to identify and work with youth at risk for suicide. Two Feathers staff in collaboration with Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services will provide culturally appropriate Mental Health First Aid Training to 80% of school personnel in both school districts.
Goal 2: Improve prevention and early intervention for AI youth in the schools. Conduct screening with 200 AI youth annually, 1000 over the course of the 5-year project. Refer 20 parents of at risk youth per year to parent support groups. Refer 30 youth per year to local cultural groups, and 15 youth per school district annually to a trauma informed skills development group.
Goal 3: Increase the engagement of youth and their families with accessible, culturally appropriate clinical service providers who can assess, manage and treat AI youth at risk for suicide. Conduct assessments with youth identified as needing a higher level of care based on screening outcomes or referrals form outside providers. Provide intensive therapeutic services to 75 youth per year.
Goal 4: Increase culturally appropriate, post-suicide services for AI youth and their families. Provide direct crisis stabilization for all AI youth in the C-HFT school districts who have attempted suicide and their families through ""Family Intervention for Suicide Prevention"" services.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Indigenous peoples

The Two Feathers Making Relatives program prioritizes meeting families where they’re at and works to identify and connect families with the resources they need for as long as they are needed. That means families can participate in this program until they graduate or decide to leave.
Using a holistic, strengths-based approach, we will work with families to build on skills they already have to meet their goals. While children are the focus of this program, we will rely on the family’s expertise and participation to make sure we are on the right track and that the family is getting the support they need to help the child heal and be well. We will also work collaboratively with the family’s team to strengthen and broaden their informal support network, so that they don’t have to do this work alone.
The “Making Relatives” model program prepares youth and their families to be ready to connect/re-connect to cultural and community relationships. Our theory of change assumes that by having flexibility of services provided by a smaller network of tribally based community partners, our staff can focus on building long term relationships with multi-stressed AI/AN youth. Services provided by an AI/AN community-based non-profit by AI/AN people will also strengthen trust and encourage greater help seeking by AI/AN youth and families.

Population(s) Served
Families
Indigenous peoples

For over thirty years, Two Feathers has been providing Advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Two Feathers provides advocacy to Native women victims from any federally recognized or federally unrecognized Tribe. Services include crisis counseling, emergency shelter, court and hospital accompaniment, advocacy, interagency collaboration and outreach.

Population(s) Served
Victims and oppressed people
Indigenous peoples

Two Feathers seeks to develop 30 youth leaders aged 12-26 that understand the root causes of AI youth substance use; are skilled in culturally and traditionally evidence-based interventions; and, are able to advocate for culturally responsive policies that support AI youth well-being in Humboldt County.
Two Feathers is also evaluating the mental health prevention and early intervention impact of two culturally specific practices - the Stick Game and Flower Dance. These two cultural practices involve multiple Tribes that reside in rural Humboldt and Del Norte Counties.These counties are the ancestral territories of the Wiyot, Hupa, Yurok, Karuk, and Tolowa Peoples. The Stick Game is attended by American Indian boys, as direct participants, and the multi-generational community of both men and women that come to watch. It has always been an inter-Tribal competition and is played regionally on Tribal Lands. The Flower Dance is a young woman’s coming of age ceremony. The Flower Dance takes place on Tribal Lands in a traditional redwood plank house either held in common by the Tribe or held privately by a family. As a public celebration of the young woman, the entire community is invited to participate.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Two Feathers aims to:
1. Provide a culturally based continuum of care.
2. Serve as an agency that strengthens the community through open communication, advocacy, partnership and collaboration that positively transforms child welfare, mental health, juvenile justice and school systems.
3. Attract and retain a highly motivated and talented team of people who are passionate about the health and wellness of youth and families.
4. Ensure financial stability by employing funding strategies that align with Two Feathers mission and vision.
5. Provide programming that is continually evaluated for meaningful, impactful outcomes.
6. Reach the youth and families most in need through our consistent engagement strategy.

How we do our work: Two Feathers leaders and staff are determined to pursue our mission of building healthy American Indian communities in Humboldt County and we know this mission will take the testing of a number of different strategies to see what will propel us closer to our goal. In a broad view, we know that we must offer a continuum of services and empowering activities that are individualized to the needs of the youth and families we aim to serve, which are those experiencing the most unnecessary suffering and therefore often the hardest to reach. Because of this focus, Two Feathers is constantly assessing our community landscape, identifying gaps in services and how we can meet community needs, which is one of our primary organizational values. All strategies for our work come from the question: How we can best meet community need? Our current primary strategies include:
1. Engagement with the hardest to reach youth and families: All of Two Feathers programs are currently at capacity or maintaining a waiting list. Given the aversion to behavioral health services due to stigma and historically oppressive practices in tribal communities, this level of engagement is unusual, and yet, is the key to the success of all of Two Feathers programs. We have found that this engagement requires finding and meeting the unmet needs of the youth and families in our community. Because of the expansive rural nature of our tribal communities, many youth and families do not have access to services because they lack transportation. Two Feathers has prioritized offering transportation to all youth to engage in prosocial community activities, to get to necessary appointments to meet basic needs, and to get to Two Feathers therapeutic services.
Additionally, the neediest youth and families in our community often lack access to healthy nutrition and fun community activities. Two Feathers staff are so committed to engaging youth and meeting their needs, that they use their personal vehicles to transport youth and families and provide incentives like fun outings as well as lunch and snack items out of their own personal funds. We have identified these three strategies; transportation, food and fun incentive outings as the primary reasons we have more youth and family engagement than any other organization in our community. Underlying these three strategies is the importance of building authentic relationships that takes time spent together.

Two Feathers has been a leader in advocacy for equity and justice in systems such as child welfare, mental health and juvenile justice for the local AI community. Two Feathers is known as a safe place to seek assistance for various youth and family needs including substance abuse treatment, individual and group counseling, intensive case management, crisis intervention and victim advocacy. Throughout its 20-year history, Two Feathers has offered culturally based wellness programming for youth including, regalia making, language classes, drumming, basket weaving, mentorship activities and other culturally based activities. Two Feathers is currently running three projects funded by the California Department of Health Care Services, the California Department of Public Health and SAMHSA, focused on youth and family wellness and substance abuse prevention and treatment. In the last two years, Two Feathers has expanded these services to rural reservation areas within Humboldt County, where resources are most lacking. The program expansion has included a strong emphasis on youth substance abuse treatment, systems advocacy and prevention programming.

Two Feathers has been serving the local AI community for more than twenty years. In the last three years, Two Feathers has focused on strategic planning and infrastructure development. As a result of this in depth planning process, Two Feathers created a vision of focusing on serving the youth and families most in need, identifying and filling in the gaps in services, and building a sustainable innovative agency that prioritizes, hiring and training the best team members, evaluating and improving our programs, and providing a continuum of services. The results of this strategic planning process have included:
• The development of a training program for staff that utilizes evidence-based practices that can be adapted to fit our local tribal communities’ needs;
• A strategic recruitment and retention plan for team members;
• The development and integration of clear behavior-based values for how we do our work;
• Implementation of sustainability strategies, such as becoming the first American Indian organization in Humboldt County to become an organizational provider for the County DHHS in order to provide specialty mental health services outside of the four walls of our organization and bill Medi-Cal for these services;
• Building the brand of the organization including a completely new website and a social media presence leading to over 9,000 followers on social media; and
• Implementation of an overall agency wide evaluation plan that collects and reviews outcome data on a monthly basis.
Because of these efforts, in 3 years our organization has grown from a staff of 4 to a staff of 28 increasing our operating yearly budget from $260,500 to $3 million. Two Feathers has created five new service programs including intensive case management services; intensive substance abuse outpatient treatment for youth; three youth wellness prevention programs; individual school-based counseling and a crisis intervention and response program; all of which were gaps in services in our community. We have expanded the number of youths we serve and the geographic reach of our services including to the most rural parts of our County where our American Indian population is most highly concentrated. Our service reach has grown from 45 youth per year to 500 youth and families served per year. At the start of this three-year process Two Feathers primarily provided 1-2 counseling sessions for each youth per week, at present we have 28 staff engaging with youth and their families, some of which may see ten different providers and engage with staff up to five hours per week.
These new programs and intensive efforts have created community trust and the level of engagement we see with youth and families, such that there is consistent attendance of more than 50 youth at our youth wellness events; all behavioral health service programs filled to capacity with waiting lists; ; and increasing formal community partnerships every month.

Financials

Two Feathers Native American Family Services
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Two Feathers Native American Family Services

Board of directors
as of 8/4/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Virgil Moorehead Sr

Shawna Neyra

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/13/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Native American/American Indian/Indigenous
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data