DTOM Veterans Ranch in need of funds for caretaker housing

DTOM Veterans Ranch says they need permanent housing on-site for their caretakers to better serve veterans in crisis.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 4:53 PM CST
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Since it opened just three years ago, DTOM Veterans Ranch has served over 9,000 veterans. Now, the nonprofit needs the community’s help.

DTOM Veterans Ranch provides an abundance of resources for military service members and veterans.

”We find a veteran where they’re at. We help them. We don’t report to anyone and we’re non pharmaceutically-based. We offer everything from counseling services to the MRMS therapy to food, clothing, jobs, housing, transportation. You name it, we cover whatever it is and we don’t charge the veterans one penny,” said DTOM founder and CEO Chris Reder.

DTOM specializes in the MRMS program, which stands for Max Rhythmic Motion Sequencing. The program was founded by DTOM clinician Dr. Tracy Diefenbach. The conditioning involves highly-trained horses that can help benefit veterans’ mental health.

”That can actually reduce the symptoms of PTSD, it can reverse Parkinson’s and dementia,” said Reder.

Serving thousands of veterans and housing nearly a dozen horses is a full-time job for both Reder and Dr. Diefenbach. Now, DTOM Ranch is in need of a new facility to both house the caretakers on-site and store the donations for veterans the nonprofit receives.

“We do all the storage of all the donations that have come in, from wheelchairs to clothes to food to everything. So, we need somewhere to store that and we need to be on-site. We’ve got 10 horses now, and one is about to give birth, so we’ll have 11. So, we have to be close by there. Now, we just need to build a small caretaker establishment for whoever is staying here to work,” said Reder.

DTOM currently rents a house near the property, but Reder says they are running out of room.

”We need more storage. It’ amazing how the community has come forward and how they donate. We have to literally say sometimes now that we just don’t have any room anymore. The garages are full, everything is full,” said Reder.

When Reder reached out to one of the board member of DTOM Ranch for help on finding a way to pay for new housing, the board member took it one step further.

”We had talked to him about looking for a possibility of a nonprofit mortgage. I didn’t know at the time, he went and started a GoFundMe for that as well. So Doc and I had no idea he was even doing that,” said Reder.

DTOM Veterans Ranch is funded solely through private donations and grants. Donations can be made for the new housing facility here.