RAPID CITY, S.D. -- Oglala Sioux Tribe members, representatives from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Services and federal disaster officials, held a groundbreaking ceremony July 14, in Oglala. Construction has now begun on the site of a manufactured home park, to provide housing for residents displaced by the June 4 and 5 tornadoes.
Tribal elder Richard Broken Nose led the group in ceremonial prayer before disaster officials and tribal members broke ground. "The blessing was to connect the homes built on the site to mother earth," Broken Nose said.
"There are simply no rental resources available on the Reservation, so the park is being developed to provide temporary housing for individuals and families displaced by the disaster," said Pete Bakersky, Federal Coordinating Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Initially, the park will house 75 units. Additional homes can be accommodated at the site if needed."
Utilities, including water and sewer, will be provided by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Indian Health Services. The units are winterized, and will include a group tornado shelter.
In addition to the manufactured home park, 40 travel trailers and 22 mobile homes have been placed on private sites throughout the Reservation. Twenty-two Governor's Prison Built homes have also been purchased to provide additional temporary housing.