Winds House receives renovation grant
by Victoria Backle
The AIDS Support Program, Incorporated (Winds House) is celebrating their thirtieth anniversary in 2017 in a very big way. They have received the City Development Block Grant from Oklahoma City in the amount of $425,000 and the program is using the grant for renovations for their two homes located within the city.
The program provides transitional and supportive housing for families and individuals with HIV/AIDS. The two houses, the Winds House and the Winds Family House, have a total of eleven units that help people who have barriers to other means of housing.
“The majority of the people here come from out of jail or off the streets,” said Colin Raley, President of the Board of Directors of the AIDS Support Program, Inc. “So, we equip them with the skills to live independently.”
The program offers its residents the chance to find employment and educational opportunities, develop their skills and apply for SSA disability. This allows the residents to regain their independence and get back on their feet before leaving the housing units.
The organization purchased the houses in 1993 and 1996, respectively. They were built in 1925 and 1928. Needless to say, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to bring the houses up-to-date and modernized.
“The houses haven’t been remodeled or rebuilt for many years,” Raley asserted. “We’ll be doing a complete remodel and update that will cover electric, HVAC and plumbing.”
The grant has made possible the opportunity to renovate the homes for its residents and provide a much more sustainable living space. Raley commented that the utility costs for the houses have been enormous through the years and the grant will help them be more cost efficient and sustainable.
Raley also noted that although the grant will help them out tremendously, it will not cover the costs of everything they need, such as furniture and appliances. The organization is still relying heavily on community contributions to fill in the gap.
The organization accepts volunteers as well as donations to help them achieve their goals. Donations are accepted through their website and volunteers can contribute on a weekly basis at the food bank and Other Options Pantry.
The program has started construction and they plan to be finished with the Winds House in May of 2017 and the Winds Family House in May of 2018.
If you want more information on the Winds House, their website is www.windshouseokc.org or you can call (405) 525-6277. Donations for the Winds House are accepted at bit.ly.com/gayly22.
Copyright 2016 The Gayly – December 30, 2016 @ 1:40 p.m.