By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Oklahoma City’s Winds House was recently awarded a grant for $425,000 to remodel their two residences located on 17th and 18th Streets in Oklahoma City.
The Winds House is a transitional, support program for individuals with HIV/AIDS who are homeless, or who are faced with the imminent threat of becoming homeless.
Those coming into the program are offered a chance to develop skills, find employment, seek educational possibilities, apply for SSA Disability, and work towards finding their way to a better place.
“We have recently started the renovations,” said Winds House Board President, Colin Raley. “Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) federal funds were granted through the City.”
The CDBG, one of the longest-running programs of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.
The AIDS Support Program, Inc. owns and operates The Winds House and The Winds Family House. Since the mid 1980s, A.S.P., a non-profit, privately funded organization, has worked to meet the needs of Oklahoma’s HIV+/AIDS communities.
In 2017, the AIDS Support Program will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
“Those who have lived at The Winds House and The Winds Family House reflect the diversity of those the illness strikes,” Raley said.
Built in 1925, The Winds House was purchased in 1993 and The Winds Family House, built in 1928, was purchased in 1996. Both homes are in located in northwest Oklahoma City in the historic Gatewood District.
Raley says the two houses contain a total of eleven units. The organization will receive $220,000 for the 18th Street house and $205,000 for the 17th Street facility.
The list of renovations for the 17th Street venue includes: LHR Fees, Trim Trees & Shrubs, Brick point work, Repair Existing Fence, Replace Porch, Exterior Entry Doors, Exterior Storm Doors, Repair Window screens, Garage Doors, Gutter Replacement, Caulking, Exterior Painting, Install Wood Handrail, Water Service Line, Replace Sewer Line, Hinged Foundation Access, Exterior Lighting, Electric Panel, Interior Doors, Interior Base Boards, Insulation, Handrails, Drywall Walls, Drywall Ceiling, Ceiling Patching, Repair Existing Cabinets, Counter Tops, Bath Tub Surround Kit, Wall Painting, Floor Replacement, Carpet Replacement, Trim Painting, Ceiling Paint, Closet Components, Plumbing Fixtures Lavatory, Plumbing Fixtures Water, Closet, Plumbing Fixtures Wood, Vanity, Faucet Replacement, Hot Water Heater (2), Drain Line Replacement, Utility (laundry vent & drain), Utility, Open Flame Heaters & Unused Gas Lines, Exhaust Fans, Hood Vent, Central Heat System. Smoke Detectors, and Electric Outlet Replacement.
The facility at NW 18th Street will receive the following: Continued Electric Outlet Installation, Electric Wall Switch Replacement, Interior Light Fixtures, Heat/Vent/Light Hazardous Wiring Outlet Replacement, Wall Cavity Insulation, Replace Garage Floor Slab, Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher.
“This complete rehab and update includes major electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems,” Raley said. “Traditionally we have spent an enormous amount on utilities because the houses are old and inefficient. Our focus with this remodel is to become as efficient and green as possible, and to create a better home for the residents.”
Raley says The Winds Family House remodel is expected to be completed in May 2017 and The Winds House should be completed in May 2018.
“Typically about half of our residents are not receiving medical care when they move in,” Raley said. “Reconnecting people with care is an intentional focus of ours.
“We are exceedingly grateful for the City of Oklahoma City’s support in awarding us Community Block Development funds,” Raley said. “The $425,000 we were awarded will cover the majority of the remodel. However some appliances are not covered. We will also have to fully furnish the two properties, and will rely on community support to achieve the full scope of the remodel.
“2017 is our 30th anniversary, so this is an exciting time to refurbish our nearly 100 year old homes,” Raley added. “As we provide transitional and supportive housing for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS, this remodel will allow us to provide a more supportive and welcoming environment to our residents, and also expand the educational programs that equip our residents with independent living skills.”
With the public’s help, The Winds House will continue to make strides in improving the lives of many Oklahomans in need.
To make a donation online to support The Winds House, or to learn more, visit www.windshouseokc.org. Checks can be mailed to The Winds House, P.O. Box 12185, Oklahoma City, OK 73157.