The Corvias Self-Help Center, 380 Carter Ave., opened with a ribbon cutting March 27."This is the first of many things coming as we're coming out of Operation Victory Homefront, where we've stepped through and focused through the visits on all the homes and barracks on the installation," said Col. Stephen Shrader, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley commander.Inside, residents will find items like shower heads, lightbulbs, garbage disposal plugs, paint and paint brushes and hand tools to complete some of the smaller repair items in the home.These items are free for residents to come in and pick up."We want folks to have issues fixed in real time, and having the ability to do some [do-it-yourself] type actions will assist in the process, so it's very important that folks understand that this is available and encouraged for them to use," said Steve Milton, director of Housing Services.
"There's probably 60 items on the list," said Ken Barteau, Corvias facility director. "They can come and get lightbulbs (on a) one-for-one exchange and air filters. We've got shovels, weed eaters, hedge trimmers if they are do-it-yourselfers for their yards and things of that nature. We also provide touch-up paint and things if they want to touch up walls. We're going to have a one-for-one screen swap, so if they have a screen that a dog tore up or it's ripped for some reason they can come down here and exchange it."The program is similar to the old Army Self-Help Store concept and will allow residents to fix the things they can themselves without waiting for a work order to be completed."We listened to our residents," Barteau said. "The self-help store used to be a thing of the past. When I was in the military, we had a self-help store. So, I think it's going to just be a great thing for the residents. Especially the ones that want to do it themselves rather (than wait).""It gives an opportunity for residents to actually (work) on their responsibility and their level on maintenance on the day-to-day stuff," Shrader said. "So they can walk in the door get paint, get lightbulbs, get hand tools and that's a huge opportunity to benefit the residents because it doesn't come at a cost to the resident."The facility will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and residents can just stop in and get the items needed."Having the ability to do DIY type maintenance was recommended by some of our residents, and with the guidance of our senior mission commander; this is another example of our partner Corvias, in conjunction with our government teams working toward making Fort Riley the best place to live," Milton said.