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Three Rivers Indian Lodge plans $2M building project
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Change is coming at the Three Rivers Indian Lodge in Manteca.

The nonprofit Native American facility for drug and alcohol treatment has just launched a building fund-raising project. The goal is to raise $2 million to replace the facility’s aging buildings.

“We hope to soon be able to build some new buildings. It’s something that we’re looking at down the road. We have a capital campaign going, writing grants and doing all that,” said Three Rivers executive director Ramona Valadez.

The amount they are shooting for in the fund-raising effort is for the construction of two buildings – one to be located up front facing North Union Road, and the other in the back which will serve as the administration office. It’s a set up that is similar to what is currently there, Valadez said.

They are not interested in fancy structures, she said.

“We’re not greedy. We don’t want a Hilton. We just want a building that won’t fall down when the wind blows. We want solid buildings. Anything’s better than what we have now,” said Valadez of the structures that have served hundreds of clients for more than three decades.

While they are trying to come up with enough money for the two buildings that will replace the existing old structures, Valadez said they are hoping that people in the building industry will step up to the plate and offer their services while taking advantage of a tax deduction from their in-kind donation.

“We can always use a piece of wire for our electricity, or we could use some carpet. Or, somebody could build the shelves and cabinets. We’re nonprofit so they get a tax write-off (for their donations),” Valadez said.

The building construction is the first major project for Three Rivers since it took the significant step of purchasing the roughly three-acre property several years ago. Their efforts to purchase a 20-acre property on French Camp Road at the end of North Union Road fell through. Not too long after that, the person who owned the property where the program is located right now offered to sell it to Three Rivers and they accepted the offer. Prior to that, the program was renting the place from the owner.

“We just want a bigger place so that we could provide more services, where kids can come and see our culture,” Valadez said of the reason behind their desire for more spacious program quarters.

In addition to providing alcohol and drug treatment to people of Native American descent, Three Rivers has hosted the annual Fourth of July of Powwow for nearly three decades. Of the 35 powwows that it has hosted to date, about a half-dozen of them were held in locations outside Manteca. The first ones were held in Stockton, while another celebration took place at a private ranch in the Lathrop-French Camp area.

Valadez also points out that it was Three Rivers which started the South County Crisis program in Manteca which provide support services to victims of domestic violence or abuse by offering them shelter and guidance, among other things.

Donations for the Three Rivers Indian Lodge building project can be sent to: Three Rivers Indian Lodge, 13505 S. Union Road, Manteca, CA 95336. Or call (209) 858-2421 for more information.