My thoughts from my week with Re-member.
(1) Installing skirting on a house or trailer will cut the propane bill for a household by about 40%. Many of the homes on the Pine Ridge Reservation need skirting around the bottom of the house. Installing skirting is not that hard, but it did take the crew of 15 I was working with on my first day to insulate and skirt an entire house. The skills I learned were building frames, installing insulation, and attaching the frames with insulation to the house.
(2) Bunk beds are some of their most requested items. In some houses there were 20 or so people living in two or three rooms. People are sleeping on floors, couches, outside, etc. We built and delivered bunk beds to families around the reservation.
(3) Outhouse construction and installation. Many of the homes do not have running water, so there is little indoor plumbing. We built and delivered and dug the holes for outhouses on the reservation.
(4) Wheelchair ramps. Many residents have trouble getting around, whether it is because they are elderly and have broken bones or they have complications from diabetes. They need help. Therefore Re-member builds and installs wheelchair ramps for many houses on the reservation.
(5) I am privileged. Although, it doesn’t really sink home until you spend some time in a place like Pine Ridge. We are all privileged, it doesn’t matter how you view it. If you can afford to us a cup of coffee on your way to work, buy a treat during the day, have a drink at the end of the week….eat three meals a day, have a stable home, a roof over your head you are privileged.
This is a FEMA trailer that was delivered to the Pine Ridge Reservation to help with housing. However, the trailers delivered to the Pine Ridge were the Hurricane Katrina trailers that were contaminated with formaldehyde. As someone in our group pointed out, “isn’t that like giving them blankets contaminated with smallpox?”