Northern Plains Reservation Aid (formerly American Indian Relief Council)
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AIRC Weatherization

House in harsh winter weather

Many Rosebud Sioux endure harsh winters in deplorable conditions.

On the Rosebud Reservation of South Dakota, winter temperatures routinely plummet to minus 30 degrees while the winds howl at 60 miles per hour.  Yet more than half of the residents live in deplorable housing, with broken windows, holes in walls and roofs, gaps around doors, and no insulation.

Imagine facing the long, brutal Northern Plains winter in such a house, where it is scarcely warmer indoors than out.  That's the reality for many vulnerable Sioux Elders who suffer from poor physical health, grinding poverty, and extreme isolation. These factors make it nearly impossible for them to perform even basic home repairs.

Ellis sitting inside house

Before AIRC weatherized his home, Ellis felt isolated and forgotten in remote Bull Creek.

Read this Elder's story

Alone No More
"We are out here on our own," is how Ellis described the harsh winter months in remote Bull Creek. That was before the AIRC Weatherization service reached out to his community.

Each fall, local residents hired through AIRC visit at least 200 needy Elders, covering windows in clear plastic, and caulking gaps in walls and doors. This arrangement not only helps the Elders, but helps younger adults by providing gainful employment.

The Right Help in the Right Places
The AIRC Weatherization service makes life more bearable for many Rosebud Elders and their families. On other reservations, the AIRC Winter Fuel service is available.

Through these inter-related programs, AIRC provides the right help in the right places. Our goal is to continue helping as many Elders in need as our resources permit.

How can I help?

AIRC Weatherization service helps make houses like this one weatherproof for winter. Caulking Window

The AIRC Weatherization service hires local residents to weatherproof the homes of Elders before winter sets in.

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