written by: Roger Wolfe 9NEWS Northern Reporter
Created: 7/29/2005 5:42 PM MDT - Updated: 7/29/2005 5:42 PM MDT
Old mobile homes that were headed for a Colorado landfill are headed instead to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. They will provide badly needed housing for Native Americans on the reservation where unemployment is almost 80 percent.
When Noel Lane closed the Fall River Village Mobile Home Park last year, many of the older trailers at the park were abandoned by their owners. Lane is clearing the property to build a condominium development. He was planning to trash the old trailers until he learned about the need on the reservation and went for a visit himself.
"I was in homes where 16 to 20 people were sharing a 3 bedroom 1 bath mobile home," Lane says. "You realize that by going a little extra step you can do something like this and put a home under someone. That's quite an accomplishment."
Lane bought a used truck and hired a crew to move the mobile homes. So far, eight of the 20 trailers have been moved.
Larry Wright drives the truck on the 400-mile trip to Pine Ridge. He says people move into the homes as soon as they arrive. "They have no electricity, no sewer or water set up in that field yet. They're just living in boxes and they're very grateful," says Wright. "The young children are waving in the windows, jumping up and down that we're bringing them houses."
Lane wants to find other mobile homes to donate to the reservation after his property is cleared. "There's a huge inventory," Lane says. "They either go to landfills or they can become housing again."
Lane can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .The Sky is our father, the Earth is our mother, Chiricahua saying...