Navajo law enforcement, led by Attorney General Ethel Branch, has made contact with hundreds of Native Americans, primarily from the Navajo tribe, living on the streets in the Phoenix metropolitan area. This intervention came after the state of Arizona cracked down on Medicaid fraud and suspended operations of unlicensed sober living homes. Numerous tribal members accepted temporary housing offers, while others chose to return to their reservations. The teams collaborated with local police and Community Bridges, Inc., a nonprofit that aids individuals with addictions. Arizona had recently cut off Medicaid funding to over 100 fraudulent and unlicensed sober living homes, mostly in the Phoenix area, leaving many residents without shelter. In response, the Navajo Nation initiated Operation Rainbow Bridge, which offers services and resources to affected tribal members. State officials suspect these fraudulent homes have cost Arizona hundreds of millions in federal Medicaid dollars. So far, $75 million has been seized and 45 indictments have been issued.
- Following Arizona’s crackdown on Medicaid fraud, many Native Americans, mainly Navajos, are left homeless as fraudulent and unlicensed sober living homes are suspended.
- Navajo law enforcement teams have made contact with these displaced individuals, offering them temporary housing or the option to return to their reservations.
- Navajo Nation launched Operation Rainbow Bridge in response to the crisis, offering resources and services to affected individuals through various platforms, including a hotline and social media.
- State officials estimate that fraudulent sober living homes have defrauded Arizona of hundreds of millions of dollars from federal Medicaid funds.
- Authorities have seized $75 million so far and issued 45 indictments as part of the ongoing investigation involving the FBI and the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.