Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Purpose: Building Reservation Homes

Robert Young once was a successful Seattle business owner who thought poverty was “someone else’s responsibility.” But a visit in 1994 to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota changed his thinking—and the course of his life—dramatically.

“Pine Ridge looked like a Third World country,” recalls Young, 45, who was shocked at the widespread poverty he saw: homes with no heat, no electricity, no running water. He returned to Seattle vowing to do something about the problem.

A year later, he came back to Pine Ridge, along with a crew of volunteers, to build a new home for one of the residents, Lakota elder Katherine Red Feather, 75. “It was the hardest work I’ve ever done,” Young admits. But it also was the most meaningful, planting the seeds for the nonprofit organization that Young would start to assist American Indians in improving housing conditions on their reservations. Read the entire article.

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