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Cherokee Nations Self-Help Program
"Serves More than 100 Families"

News from the Cherokee Nation
Cherokee News Path ~ Friday, February 7, 2003

Copyright © 2003 CNO
All Rights Reserved

TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - The Cherokee Nation assisted more than 100 families with their emergency housing needs in 2002 through a new self-help program. Qualified participants agreed to provide labor to repair their homes and the Cherokee Nation provided funding for the materials.

“I had to have my roof fixed,” said Nikki Ross, of Stilwell, who participated in the program. “I just had to find people to put it on and my friends and my husband did that.”

Ross heard about the program through the Cherokee Nation from a friend.

“I just filled out the application and it took about three weeks and I had a new roof,” Ross said. “I would have had to fix it at some point, but it wouldn’t have been as good as it is. It’s really a good roof. It’ll last a long time.”

The Cherokee Nation appropriated $100,000 from the money generated by the Motor Fuels Tax to fund the emergency housing self-help project. Each family was allowed a maximum of $1000 to repair their homes.

“We helped people who had no water, their floors were falling through, just anything that had to do with emergency home repair, we worked with it,” said Roger Barr, housing and infrastructure coordinator with the Cherokee Nation. “We’ve seen a lot. Some homes were actually condemnable and they received replacement homes from the Housing Authority (of the Cherokee Nation). Many people just simply didn’t have a way to get their applications to the Housing Authority and we just helped them in any way that we could.”

The Cherokee Nation currently has six housing and infrastructure coordinators that work in the various communities in the Cherokee Nation to identify the needs of the community and offer assistance with the many assistance programs that the Cherokee Nation has to offer.

“This program is set up to do some good.” Barr said. “Our people (the housing and infrastructure coordinators) really have the community in mind and are very proactive.”

The housing and infrastructure coordinators often make referrals to other organizations if the family is in a situation that the Cherokee Nation is unable to help with and other organizations often refer people to the Cherokee Nation for help.

“We took referrals from the Housing Authority, community members, and even from the State of Oklahoma,” Barr said. “We tried to help in any way that we could.”

Related contact information:

Mike Miller, Cherokee Nation
Director of Communications
Phone: 918-456-0671 (ext.2210)
Fax: 918-458-5580
E-mail: Communications@cherokee.org

Larry Daugherty, Advertising Manager
Cherokee Nation - Public Affairs
Phone 918-456-0671 (Ex.2324)
E-mail: ldaugherty@cherokee.org

Bradley D. Peak, Cherokee Nation
Natural Resources Specialist
Phone: 918-456-0671 (ex.2843)
E-mail: bpeak@cherokee.org

Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma
Attn: (Department Name)
P.O. Box 948, Tahlequah, OK 74465
Telephone: 918-456-0671
(Toll Free OK) 1-800-256-0671

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