Photo: Roman Heuft, MDS
MDS Volunteers are rebuilding homes in the Monte Lake area and West Miles Road six miles away.
The Mennonite Disaster Service is working to rebuild four homes that were lost during the 2021 fire in the Monte Lake area.
Mennonite Disaster Services has set up a shop in the Westgate Community Hall.
Roman Hewft, director of the Monte Lake MDS project, has set up temporary dormitories in Westwood to accommodate volunteers while working on the project.
“I think we have about 16 people now. We had about 30 last week,” Heuft said.
“We are building homes for the uninsured and the low-income people.”
According to Heuft, the volunteers are focusing on four homes this year.
The three houses are in Lake Monte, one about six miles west of Creek. Because of the location of the four houses, Heft said he chose to set up a Westgate camp.
He said they are currently working on only four with limited services.
Homeowners do not need to be mennonites to get help from MMS, he says.
“They don’t even have to be Christians. We respond to anyone who asks for help in the love of our Lord. ”
Heft said the project plans to complete the four houses but their accommodation is based on mother nature.
”[We’ll be here] Until the snow drove us away. So we have outdoor shower trailers and we have basically set up an RV camp on the property, ”he said.
“So this is only limited when the cold comes – we thought we could finish all the work, but that will be the reason for our time.”
Volunteers are not only building homes, MDS volunteers have been helping the community respond to other emergencies.
“We had that big rain last week and there was a call for help to make sandbags so the team went immediately and made sandbags,” he said.
“They collected two trucks full of sand and packed them all in bags – the trucks were filling up faster than they could get to where they needed to go. So they were the most amazing team we had last week, they were expensive.
Heff said he was well received by the community.
“The community has responded surprisingly well,” he said.
Heuft said the MDS team would hold a meeting at the Westgate Community Hall to introduce themselves to the community.
“We are meeting a community at Westgate Hall. It’s to let them know who we are and to let them know we’re here to help. ”