Juneau, AK (KINY) - The Director of Haven House, Kara Nelson, was honored during Senator Sullivan's Alaskan of the Week series.
The Director of Haven House, Kara Nelson, was honored during Senator Sullivan's Alaskan of the Week series.
Nelson is a recovered addict who faced issues for 20 years, but has come out of that experience and has been helping others fight addiction. Nelson is also a part of several other projects including helping the homeless find housing and assisting with programs that reduce crime. She also has since earned her associate's degree and has reunited with her children.
She was also recognized by the FBI where she received the Director’s Community Leadership Award.
Senator Sullivan recalled one of the first times he was presented with the stories of Nelson and other women struggling with the opioid crisis.
"They came to my office. On this day, I had certainly one of the most impactful meetings I have had in the Senate. It was a meeting where they were all very honest and open about what they had been through, and, to be perfectly blunt, these women have been through hell."
"They talked about it with courage, grace, and dignity. They talked about how Alaskans were suffering through this addiction—opioid and heroin addiction, in particular— and how they needed help and how they needed Federal legislation. Their honesty, resiliency, and courage were something I was so impressed by, so moved by. In many ways, it was a gift for me as a Senator to see this and to try, just a little bit, to understand this. This meeting went very long. After I heard these stories, I started reading more about this crisis. It is impacting all of our States, and certainly many parts of Alaska."
"I told my staff that we have to focus on this."
Sullivan's closing words were ones of thanks and encouragement.
"Her work and the work of so many others on tackling this crisis and all of the difficult side effects is so important. Kara, please keep it up. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all the work you have done, for your courage, your commitment, and your inspiration, and, of course, congratulations to you on being our Alaskan of the Week."