Renovating abandoned houses a focus of Community Fire Protection project

April 04, 2016
Community Fire Protection partnership with Northern Cheyenne
Housing is a significant need on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana.
Story and photo submitted by Laurie Day
Assistant Director of Mission & Ministry

Housing is a significant need on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. There are approximately 600 habitable homes for a population of 5,000 individuals within the reservation. These numbers mean that often there are three to four families living in each house. Other houses exist on the reservation, but they are no longer habitable because of past fires or other needed repairs. Two significant causes of fires in the Northern Cheyenne community are abandoned houses and lack of a defensible space around structures.

One focus of the Community Fire Protection partnership will be renovating abandoned houses to decrease opportunities for structure fires while also providing additional habitable houses for families living on the reservation. In 2017, individuals and groups from the Rocky Mountain Conference will help with renovations and creating a defensible space that is clear of brush and other debris to act as a barrier between a structure and an advancing fire.

This coming Sunday, April 10, United Methodists will celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday. Part of the offering will support fire protection activities with the Northern Cheyenne and part will support the Church’s work with Native Americans. Additional donations to support the Community Fire Protection partnership can be sent to the Rocky Mountain Conference designated for “Northern Cheyenne Fire Protection”. Thank you for your support and generosity!