Archive for November, 2011

Dacotah Tipis Update: November 2011

Wall FramingHabitat for Humanity-Dacotah Tipis is a Habitat for Humanity International affiliate located in Fort Thompson, South Dakota on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation. Located along a beautiful stretch of the Missouri River on the shores of Lake Sharpe, the local area offers immersion into the Native American culture, as well as excellent hunting, fishing, sightseeing and camping opportunities.

UPDATE: November 2011

2011 was a very productive year for our affiliate despite the economic downturn that created a tough year for quite a few non-profits out there. Here at Dacotah Tipis, we were very fortunate to have had some fantastic lone volunteers, some great small groups, and a few really productive larger groups, who came to Fort Thompson fired up and ready to build.

The construction efforts were fast paced giving all the volunteers options to choose their construction tasks more than they normally would’ve been able to. Construction tasks ranged from wall building, roof construction and shingling, to setting windows and doors, and installing the aluminum soffit system.

Our affiliate offers the use of pneumatic nail guns and staplers for easy, rapid construction. Many volunteers comment they have never used them before either on other Habitat projects, or perhaps ever in their lives, and once they become familiar with these wonderful tools, become very fond of them and quite proficient in their use within hours. This ability to fasten and build with pneumatic guns increases our productivity, and creates a more rewarding experience for the volunteers as their efforts get substantially more done in less time providing a greater sense of accomplishment. They may be slightly intimidating at first, but everyone leaves the affiliate with a new affection for these tools, as well as the acquired skills to use them proficiently and ssafely.

If you prefer a hammer and a pouch of nails, then that’s what we want you to use, and that’s what we will provide you. We aim to please our volunteers any way we can so that they have a wonderful experience.

Dacotah Tipis is run by a 30 year California builder/developer who loves to teach volunteers. Instruction on how to use modern construction tools, the process of building the home at all stages, and anything about developing land into neighborhoods. He is currently developing 5 acres of raw land into a private street with six 3/4 acre lots. One home is complete, one is closed in and ready for interior work, and a third has a floor on it ready for wall construction for the spring of 2012. This process of building in continued sequence not only produces more home per dollar, but allows volunteers more variety in what they are able to do and learn on the project.


We will need volunteers to begin rough-ins of electrical, and plumbing in house #2, finish siding, painting and decks on house #2, and I need some volunteers for wall framing and roof framing on house #3. House #1 needs some landscaping/grading finished in the front yard as well.

Everyone is welcome to help at our affiliate at any skill level, for any amount of time. We have plenty to do from networking of Facebook and clerical in the office, to job-site construction.

Thanks to everyone for the help in 2011. It was a fantastic year!

Don’t forget:

Make arrangements for the 2012 construction season in advance if possible.
For more information contact:

Jim Huntley
Executive Director
Habitat for Humanity-Dacotah Tipis P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339 Phone: 605-245-2450

Another Inconvenient Truth

In 2006 the movie “An Inconvenient Truth” appeared. The title, suggesting that the truth is inconvenient, refers to the difficult changes suggested by Al Gore. You know the rest of the story.

Today on the Crow Creek Reservation there is another inconvenient truth, a very significant one: the children need your help.

The Crow Creek Indian Reservation is one of the poorest areas of the country. With poverty comes an assortment of problems and the impact on the children is horrendous. Too many are lacking food, clothing, a good education, and decent housing in a safe neighborhood. Too many are destined to grow up before their environment has been improved, leaving them vulnerable to a vicious cycle.

Readers, the truth is that many can be helped. Many of the lives can be changed and it can be done with your help. It may be inconvenient if your next vacation is a volunteer trip to help, rather than to a beach or an amusement park. Or perhaps you’ll skip this week’s night out in exchange for making a donation to help. Inconvenient? Maybe. Rewarding? Absolutely!

At Habitat for Humanity Dacotah Tipis,  our charter is to improve and increase the reservation housing. In the backdrop of a severe housing shortage, we are only organization building homes here. On the reservation, it is not uncommon to find over a dozen people sleeping under the same roof – and many of the roofs leak. You’ll find homes with inadequate heat, black mold, and poor or non-existing plumbing. Obviously, the results are sad. Sad because the children need much better conditions to ensure a good future to break the perpetual cycle. 

You might be reading this thinking ” It can’t be that bad”. Well, all we can say is come and take a look. You can get here easy enough, after all we’re right here in the United States. And while you’re here, please take a minute to look into the eyes of the children.

If you would like to work with us, please contact us:
Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
605-245-2450 Office/Fax
605-680-0402 Cel

The Impact of Poor Housing

Turn on your TV set tonight and you’re very likely to see something about housing:  Extreme Home Makeover, HGTV, Home Depot ads, etc. All are positive and loaded with ideas on how we can improve our home. Now imagine watching this from the poorest area of the country where every day is a struggle and safe shelter is a blessing. If you’re watching from “Hidden America” where there are not enough jobs, not enough homes, and not enough services you have to wonder what’s going on. You would have to wonder how a child could ever grow up in this situation.

Well, children do grow up in this situation and the impact isn’t pretty: Every aspect of life – mental, physical, emotional, social and economic hands the children a devastating legacy. Poor housing leads to a far greater risk of experiencing severe ill-health and disability before they reach middle age. In particular, such children face a greater chance of developing meningitis, infections, asthma or other respiratory problems.

It can also have a devastating impact on emotional well being. The children are three to four times more likely to have mental health problems than other children. As an after-effect, many children are subsequently ensnared in a cycle of poverty and social exclusion for which society also pays a heavy price.

How can a homeless child flourish when they are two to three times more likely to be absent from school and become used to watching their no more able, but well-housed, contemporaries leapfrog their progress? How can a child develop healthily when their home is cold and damp, their chest hurts when they breathe, and they can’t sleep at night? These experiences can manifest into recurrent nightmare played out into adulthood.

Habitat for HumanityAt Dacotah Tipis Habitat for Humanity we acknowledge the direct and long-term impact that poor housing has on the children. The Crow Creek Indian reservation is in need of adequate housing and we need your help.

Please give us a call:
Dacotah Tipis
Habitat for Humanity
P.O. Box 487
Fort Thompson, SD 57339
605-245-2450 Office/Fax
605-680-0402 Cel

Learn about the Dacota 38

Click here for Full Dacota 38 movie

If you plan to volunteer, please become familiar with the best practices for safety and loss prevention.

Volunteer Safety Training

Christ Episcopal Church on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation
Faith Based Partnerships

Click the image below to see the Google Map. Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
See us on:
Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity

Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity
To apply for Home Ownership...

Sister Charles at Box 487, Fort Thompson, SD 57339


Dacotah Tipis – Habitat for Humanity

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