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Operation Rainbow Bridge begins for victims of fraudulent sober-living homes

Operation Rainbow Bridge begins for victims of fraudulent sober-living homes


State and Diné leaders joined hands to bring home the many Navajo people caught in a sober rehabilitation home scam.

A - KJ - Main box 1 - Fraudulent sober-living – 05252023Krista Allen Leander Begay Operation Rainbow Bridge begins for victims of fraudulent sober-living homes

Navajo Times | Kianna Joe
Navajo Nation Attorney General Ethel Branch extends a comforting hand to Sen. Theresa Hatathlie, who speaks about Diné being taken to fraudulent sober-living homes. Hatathlie and other leaders met for a press conference announcing a new program, “Operation Rainbow Bridge,” Friday, May 19, in Phoenix.

Dozens of Diné families on May 5 cried out for help locating their loved ones who were taken to fraudulent sober-living homes in the Phoenix Valley during a walk for the movement “Stole People, Stolen Benefits.”

Among those who walked to raise awareness of the Native people taken to the sober-living homes was Council Delegate Vince James, who promised he heard everyone.

Nearly two weeks later, the Navajo Nation announced its collaboration with the state of Arizona, the Phoenix Indian Center, Solari Crisis and Human Services, and other organizations to begin “Operation Rainbow Bridge” in response to the more than 100 unlicensed and fraudulent sober-living homes in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

The tribe on May 16 started the operation with three Navajo Police officers who arrived in Phoenix to begin searching for Diné, needing help returning home.

In a press conference May 19, Harlan Cleveland, the special operations coordinator for the Navajo Police Department, reported 23 Native American people his two on-the-ground police officers contacted.

Read the full story in the May 25 edition of the Navajo Times.

About The Author

Kianna Joe

Kianna Joe is Bit’ahnii and born for Kinyaa’áanii. She was born in Gallup. She received first place for best editorial in the student division for the 2022 National Media Awards. She is now an intern for the Navajo Times, covering matters in the Phoenix Valley while attending school at Arizona State University.


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