Healing Community Project moves into predesign process

Photo Credit: SU Health Services

Tribe to build substance use treatment campus

In spring of 2023, Tribal Council approved Resolution 2023-071 presented by Tribal Health and Tribal Services to initiate a predesign process for the Healing Community, a substance use treatment campus. The Construction & Project Management Division (C&PM) is starting this process which will determine the location and layout of the campus. The project will be developed on property owned by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe on the Reservation. The site is anticipated to be 10-12 acres in size for Phase I and up to 20-24 acres when complete. The predesign process is estimated to be complete in the summer of 2024 and upon approval, will then move into the design phase of the project. Following the design phase, completion of Phase I is anticipated by the end of 2026 with the caveat, C&PM does not encounter any delays due to construction, availability of materials, etc.

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe recognizes that substance use is an epidemic that impacts the health and well-being of tribal members, children, and families in our community. When it comes to accessing treatment, tribal members and the Four Corners community are at a noted disadvantage. Not only are there very few residential-treatment centers and recovery facilities in Colorado, but those that do exist often lack culturally relevant programming, hindering the effectiveness of the rehabilitation process.

Patients with substance use disorders must travel great distances to receive treatment, and when they return home there is a critical need for appropriate housing and continued care that is set in a supportive environment to maintain their recovery.

The Tribe is considering incorporating peer modeling and support to improve the success rates for recovery. The goal is to have a central space on the Reservation for designated personnel to conduct culturally relevant treatment sessions along with spaces for community gathering, temporary living, and programs that support wellness. There are several facilities that will make up the main Healing Community campus for Phase I.

Included among the amenities is an inpatient facility, childcare with early childhood education programming, space for counseling and behavioral health administrative offices, and a housing component. After successfully completing inpatient treatment, patients can transition into one of three recovery houses that will be separated by gender and family housing. Both men and women’s recovery homes will house residents as well as a House Manager in each with dedicated living quarters. Recovery homes will have shared living, kitchen, and activity spaces. Other supportive spaces in the Healing Community campus will include walking trails, equine therapy, outdoor spaces, and a playground for families with additional amenities to be evaluated and added in future phases.

Starting this month, the project team will be working to incorporate community feedback and would welcome input from tribal members and their families. Additional information regarding this project and avenues for feedback and participation will be forthcoming. If you have any specific questions or comments about the project, please email the Construction & Project Management Division (C&PM) at: If you have any questions or comments specific to the substance treatment mentioned, please email them to Dr. William Finn at Tribal

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