Christmas came early for two lucky Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community members and their families as they were handed the keys to their new homes a week before Christmas. Community members Clifford Kauakahi and Anthony Kelly, Jr. walked into new houses that came complete with window treatments and appliances.
Kauakahi was the first to receive his keys, on Tuesday, December 17, with his children and grandchildren there for the special occasion. Kelly and his girlfriend Cindy Moreno were presented the keys to their new home on Thursday, December 19. On both occasions, brief presentations were held to acknowledge all those who contributed their efforts to the process.
“Today we are here to celebrate the completion of another SHRRP home,” said Engineering and Construction Services Director Todd Auger, referring to the Community’s Senior Home Repair and Replacement Program (SHRRP). Auger recognized the members of the SHRRP committee: Hershel Andrews, Patty Kauakahi, Leroy Eswonia, Ethaleen Osife and Rick Nelson.
“These five individuals have a great duty and are stewards of our program. They give guidance to the [SRPMIC] departments [regarding] the types of services that are delivered during the SHRRP home-building process,” said Auger.
Another big contributor to the SHRRP homes is the Miracle House Foundation, which provided the window treatments and all energy-efficient appliances: refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, and washer and dryer.
SRPMIC Vice-President Martin Harvier was there to congratulate Kelly as his new home was unveiled.
“It’s a beautiful home,” said Harvier. “Being able to come and watch as the keys are handed over to the new homeowners —that is really something special [as a tribal leader] to see our members being provided housing.
“What makes it even more special is to see one of our own Community members able to actually build and put in a quality home because he knows it’s for his own people,” added Harvier. “I want to thank the SHRRP staff for all that they do and the Miracle House Foundation for purchasing the appliances. It takes the burden off of the homeowners to purchase those things, so we are grateful for them to do that.”
After the presentation for Kelly’s home, he was given the grand tour. It was his first time inside the house since it was officially completed.
“It feels good. I try not to act excited, but I am. I’ll probably scream around after everyone leaves,” said Kelly, who has lived in this location for the last 20 years, after his father passed away. “I would like to thank everyone who helped us: the SHRRP, all the workers and everyone who was behind the whole thing, from paperwork to construction.”
So far, SHRRP has built 25 homes for Community elders and those with disabilities. With the culmination of these last two projects, SHRRP will start off the New Year by building new homes for two more Community elders.