With the arrival of spring we begin to see encouraging signs of new growth. What we were previously seeing as dormant is showing itself to be very much alive and healthy. Red Feather is showing similar signs. Signs that roots are well established, and programs are beginning to blossom. These signs have indicated that now is an appropriate time for the organization, and for me personally, to transition back to my role with Red Feather’s board of directors. As such, effective June 30th I will be turning over the role of Executive Director to a new person, yet to be identified.
The search will be thorough to find the right person to take Red Feather into the next decade. I am determined to help find an exemplary candidate that can be brought on board before I leave. That will allow me to best support the transition. I am confident that with my continued involvement on the Red Feather board, the transition will be a smooth one.
I have found my involvement with Red Feather to be tremendously rewarding on many different levels, from emotional rewards to the personal growth that it has afforded me. I expect that the next person to lead this organization will find similar rewards and in return will drive an even greater impact with all of your continued support.
I'd like to thank all of you, for supporting Red Feather and me personally while I had the honor of being in charge. I look forward to continuing to work together to empower more people to make their homes healthier.
We are excited to announce that we recently added two new staff members to the Red Feather team!
Shannon Maho, who is located in our Flagstaff office, is coordinating the Professional Weatherization program and serving as a case manager for the NHRN program. Shannon studied interior design, sustainable green building and alternative energy in university. She is from the Village of Walpi on the Hopi reservation and Forest Lake area of the Navajo Nation. Shannon has professional experience working in kitchen design, housing development, code enforcement, water conservation and municipal recycling. In her free time, she enjoys martial arts, reading, baking, sewing and spending quality time with her kids.
Roy Lee Hosteen is based in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico and is coordinating the Four Corners Stove Replacement and Weatherization program. Roy was born in Shiprock, NM on the Navajo Nation and hasn’t ever lived too far from there. He worked in his family’s home construction business through high school and after attending college, he went on to have a 33-year career in the mining industry, working across multiple disciplines including graphite draftsman, statistician, surveyor, computer analyst, site project representative, budget coordinator and project manager. He is fluent in Navajo and English. He has a passion for hearing stories of his elders and enjoying their laughter when humor is exchanged in Navajo. He is a well-respected jeweler, and his hobbies are gardening, landscaping, art collecting, traveling and sightseeing.
A small number of groups and individuals came together in Tuba City on the Navajo Nation to build accessibility ramps for 3 Navajo families struggling with unsafe entry to their homes. Thanks to funding from Assist to Independence, Highlands Associates, Miner’s Challenge, and Red Feather donors, we were able to purchase the needed materials and hire a crew of two local professionals, who led a team of volunteers to build the three ADA-compliant ramps in just over a week’s time.
The volunteers consisted of 10 students from Miner Challenge, Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Alternative Break program, who raised money for the projects and donated their spring break time; and individual volunteers, Shawn Simpson from Phoenix and Jeanette Joy from Chicago; all of who paid for their travel, lodging and meals.
Also instrumental in our success was Eunice Begay from the Navajo Nation Department of Veteran Affairs Western Agency, who allowed us to use her facilities throughout the week.
Red Feather has been experimenting with ways to harness the energy from people outside these communities, who are wanting to help; while maintaining a focus on empowering the people within them. This was our fourth ramp building effort in Tuba City in the last two years. It has been inspiring to see the lengths people will go to help others. And after seeing what groups like these can accomplish in such a short amount of time, we are encouraged to try more. Stay tuned!
Our Native Home Resource Network program was designed to help families address health and safety home repair needs. Our case managers work with home owners to assess their needs and available resources and then leverage our networks to gather the missing components to complete needed repairs. Often, it takes multiple resources in order to fully address the needs of a given family.
One example of an NHRN resource is a Housing Preservation Grant we were recently awarded from USDA Rural Development to help Navajo families living in Cameron, AZ. We also have specific funding from Kendal Charitable Funds that helps us conduct aging in place assessments for tribal elders and provide them with simple home modifications like grab bars, anti-slip mats, toilet risers, and LED lighting.
Currently we have over 136 families that have contacted us for assistance. Our policy is to give each family a minimum of an hour of our time, in which we provide them with advice and referrals. As our capacity allows, we then move these cases into an active management status. At this time, we are actively helping 19 families find the resources for their housing repair needs. The recent addition of Shannon Maho to our team has greatly increased our capacity to service more active cases.
We are now in our fourth year providing professional home weatherization services to Hopi and Navajo families that receive electricity from APS. Since the start of 2019, two Hopi professionals, employed by our subcontractor CozyHomes, LLC, have been able to make substantial improvements to the comfort and energy efficiency of 14 homes so far. Ensuring that the envelope of a home (roof, siding, windows, doors) and insulation are intact is often our first priority to ensure families have the basic framework for a healthy home. Many of the families that come to us through this program also require the help of NHRN to resolve health and safety repairs that are not covered under our contract with APS. We are grateful to have this case management program to help families find additional funding when necessary.
Over the past year we developed a new healthy heating educational program with support from the University of Arizona Foundation’s Agnese B. Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice. Now with their additional support, we are developing a heating demonstration site to introduce two alternative heating technologies to the Hopi community and learn more about their performance. The driving need for this work is coal, the primary fuel source for many Hopi and Navajo families, is expected to become very scarce at the end of 2019 with the closure of Navajo Generating Station. Now, more than ever, healthy heating alternatives are needed, and Red Feather is working earnestly to respond to this need.
Four Corners Stove Replacement and Weatherization Program:
We are now helping to facilitate a project in the Four Corners region of New Mexico on the Navajo Nation that seeks to improve indoor and outdoor air quality by providing cleaner heating appliances and increasing home heating efficiency in 500 area homes. Many families burn coal and wood to heat their homes, often with older, inefficient appliances that can contribute to disproportionate rates of respiratory disease. The funding for the work is provided via a consent decree by Arizona Public Service, Southern California Edison, and other owners of the Four Corners Power Plant. Roy Hosteen has joined the Red Feather staff to coordinate this program. The duration of the project is expected to be about three years, and Red Feather is honored to have been asked to play a part in this important work.
2501 North 4th St., Suite 17
Flagstaff, AZ 86004