Southwest Indian Relief Council
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A Program of PWNA


Services

 Home Improvement

Many frail Elders live in unsafe,
sub-standard housing.
Many Elders on remote reservations of the Southwest are forced to endure the winter in houses that are almost as cold inside as out. The Southwest Indian Relief Council Program addresses this problem, which is caused by acute housing shortages and inadequate tribal funds for home improvement, through its Home Improvement service.

One of SWIRC’s oldest and most ambitious services, Home Improvement aims to provide warm, safe homes for Elders. Through it, we lead teams of community members and volunteers to weatherproof Elders’ homes by replacing flimsy doors, broken windows, dilapidated roofing, and cracked flooring. The Home Improvement service also installs safety equipment such as grab bars, which help make homes safer for Elders.

Dedication, organization, communication.
Dedication, organization, and constant communication ensure the success of this service, which requires a huge amount of planning and the participation of a large number of community members over many weeks.

SWIRC services provide resources to communities so they can improve
the quality and safety of Elder housing.
 

Commitment to self-help.
Each year, the SWIRC Program targets one community for weatherization and home improvement. Because of budgetary restraints, SWIRC is not able to work with more than one community a year. The community is chosen based on the performance of its Program Partners, because this indicates a high level of community commitment to self-help. In this spirit, community members are deeply involved in selecting eligible Elders and completing all paperwork, evaluating the level of repairs needed in each home, overseeing the work, and carrying out the repairs. Volunteers, together with a paid contractor and our staff, carry out repairs to the chosen houses, and this helps create a strong sense of community identity.

The Home Improvement service expresses the SWIRC Program’s core commitment to providing Elders of Native American communities with the care they need to improve the quality of their lives.


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Give a gift of hope to a child or Elder living on impoverished remote Native American reservations in the Southwest.

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