FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Two more houses from Fort Riley found their way to the Kickapoo Nation and the Kickapoo Housing Authority Nov. 1, arriving on a cool, cloudy Kansas day.
The structures, transported by Ensor House Movers of Johnson, Nebraska, wound down less traveled roadways with workers removing signs ahead of the houses that could impede progress, then placing them back after the structures passed.
One was placed next to four other Fort Riley houses sent earlier this year. The other was placed in a separate location and is waiting for the completion of the foundation.
All of the houses sent to the Kickapoo Nation since the effort began in early summer were previously marked for demolition in the Warner-Peterson housing area at Fort Riley.
Instead they will help alleviate a housing shortage at the Kickapoo Reservation as part of an effort called Operation Walking Shield.
According to Adrian Ramirez of RFN Construction, the company responsible for the construction, the foundation of the house that is waiting for one will eventually be built about four feet above the ground before the house comes to rest on it.
"It's not a hard job," Ramirez said. "And we usually can build them in all kinds of weather."
The four houses already in place are in stages of renovation, which include new roofing, electrical upgrades and paint.
"We are pushing to have some occupancy by Nov. 15," said Peggy Houston, director of the Kickapoo Housing Authority.
There are more challenges for the KHA as the homes are prepared to be lived in.
"The hardest challenge is getting the (federal grant) funds in time to schedule the work," Houston said.
In the end, the houses will help the Kickapoo Nation residents in the attempts to become more self-reliant.
"The goal is self-sufficiency and sustainability," Houston said. "The question I ask is, 'if we stopped receiving funding tomorrow, can we continue to move forward?'"
The final shipment of houses from Fort Riley is scheduled to take place Nov. 13.