In 1991 the American Indian Task Force on Housing and Homelessness was formed from a Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act initiative. Gordon Thayer working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at that time was determined to focus on the problem in the Twin Cities. Gordon Thayer and Robert Albee organized the Task Force with Native professionals working for Federal, State, County and Municipal governments as well as the Community. Their initial task was to focus on providing a better level of support and assistance to American Indians on the streets and in shelters.
Recognizing the scope of homeless among Native people (10% at the time) and that none of the fifty Twin Cities Indian organizations were dedicated to housing, homebuilding, and supportive services, the American Indian Task force members formed the American Indian Housing Corporation in 1992.
During the early nineties AICDC documented that 55 chronic alcoholic homeless Native people died on the streets of Minneapolis over a five-year period.
We are dedicated to providing culturally specific housing and supportive services in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. AICDC understands the special needs of American Indians and creates unique programs and projects that prepare the community's most vulnerable people to find and maintain housing. Through major grants from the McKnight and Bush Foundation organizational capacity was strengthened and housing advocacy services were formed to address housing needs for homeless families.
Anishinabe Wakiagun (The People's Home in the Ojibwe language) was the first AICDC housing development project. The planning for Wakiagun was launched in 1993 and is an example of our efforts to find creative ways to fill serious gaps in existing services.