SURVIVAL WINTERIZATION
OGLALA SIOUX VETERANS’ HOMES

Home Depot Foundation Foundation Grant 16163
Sept. 24 – Oct. 31, 2012

Native Americans live in substandard dwellings on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, many of these are the homes of veterans and their families. With the assistance of the Red Shirt community president and other knowledgeable members of the community at large, homes that are owned by veterans that were in need of help were identified. From interviews with the families, seven projects were identified in which the repair or replacement of damaged portions of their homes were approachable within the funds available in this grant. Other projects were added that affect the warmth and well being of the residences.

Projects in the homes of five Native American veterans, their families and two of their neighbors were completed Grant funds were used solely to purchase materials and cover delivery charges from the Scottsbluff, NE Home Depot Foundation. Projects were planned in three stages with separate orders from Home Depot Foundation.

Home #1 is a house where the old roofing was leaking and causing considerable damage to the interior walls and ceiling. One-half of the roof had been repaired previously. In this project, the other half was overlaid with new roofing panels and a ridge cap.

Old roof House #1 House #1 new roof
Roof of Home #1 showing deteriorated condition
of shingles prior to adding new roof panels.
Roof of Home #1 with new roofing panels
(green) and ridge cap (white)

 

Home #2. At the owner’s request, this house was insulated by the installation of two storm doors, front and back, and shrink plastic coverings, both indoors and outdoors, for one window. Ideally, a storm window would have been added to this window if one had been available. A difference in the house could be felt quickly.

Veteran in front of his home

Veteran posing by his new storm door

 

Home #3 is a trailer. The skirting around the base of the trailer was weather- worn and deteriorating allowing cold air to circulate under the trailer. It was replaced with long-lasting PVC roof panels. The owner also requested plastic shrink window kits for 11 windows which were provided.

Home #4 is a trailer with a wood frame addition. Weather damage to the addition roof and a missing outside door allowed rain and snow to make the room unusable. The roof was stripped of the old roofing and a new roof installed. A new front door with hardware was added.

Addition to trailer of house #4 Installation of new roofing New exterior door at house #4

Addition to trailer of Home #4. Note condition of roof and screen door, the only door present.

Workers installing new roofing on trailer addition of Home #4.

New exterior door installed in trailer addition of Home #4. Door at right (open) is entrance to trailer.

 

Additionally, the occupant is wheel-chair limited and a ramp was added to the 9” drop between floors of the trailer and the addition.

Building wheel chair ramp

No longer constrained to the trailer, this person can now exit to the outdoors by himself.

Additional caulking supplies were provided for each home above.

Home #5. A well-worn floor in this house was replaced with laminate flooring. Large holes in the walls were covered with new drywall.

Installing New Floor Repairing Wall
Floor of Home #5 before and
after laying new laminate flooring.

Wall of Home #5 before and
after repairing damage with new drywall.

 

Home #6. This home needed a well pump to supply water. The pump and accessories were installed and hooked up; an electric water heater was also installed.

The project was completed by adding a water heater to house #7 without which the water company would not allow the hookup of an indoors water supply. All water to this time was carried in from an outdoor faucet.

The outcome of this grant-funded project was the improvements in the homes of Native American veterans and their families and neighbors that should make them more comfortable and livable during the extremes of weather conditions where they live. The work done was greatly appreciated as stated by the home owners.

Living in four separate communities on the reservation this project reinforced the presence of ONE Spirit throughout much of the reservation. Because much of the proposed work required considerable professional skill, a local carpenter with two helpers was employed, adding to the 54 hrs of volunteer help. This provided paid jobs in a community of very high unemployment. Finally, publicizing the results of this activity will expand our ability to further assist the people of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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