Earthquake anniversary highlights housing needs in Haiti

By August 17, 2022

Haiti (MNN) — Last year’s August 14 earthquake in southern Haiti killed 2,200 people and destroyed 130,000 houses. Today, the United Nations still cares for thousands who remain homeless.

The housing demand is high nationwide, but gang activity near the ports keeps the supply low. In northern Haiti, “people usually have land, but they don’t have money to build on the land,” For Haiti With Love’s Roseline DeHart says.

The ministry is overwhelmed by requests. “We get a lot of people asking us to build a house for them so they can live [in safety],” DeHart says.

“It is a battle on the streets [to survive] with their family.”

Northern Haiti doesn’t get many earthquakes, so people don’t have to worry about quake-proof homes. However, poverty severely limits the housing options for families in need.

“[Using] whatever amount of money they have, they just put up a shack and live day-by-day, hoping that no rain can blow it [down],” DeHart says.

Haitian workers build a starter house funded through For Haiti With Love.
(Photo courtesy of For Haiti With Love)

A place to call home

Even the simplest home by Western standards – four walls, a roof, and a door – is a luxury in Haiti. With help from its donors, For Haiti With Love builds secure homes for families and single moms living in extreme poverty.

“We have two different programs. Pilgrim houses [are sponsored by] a church in Indiana called Pilgrim Lutheran Church. These are for a family,” DeHart says.

Starter houses are for mothers with children but no husband. They struggle to take care of the kids because they’re all alone. [The starter house is] a big help for them.”

Each new home is a tangible reminder of God’s love and care. “God shows up when we hand people the keys. Their (recipients’) first time having a key in their hands, that’s like, the world to them,” DeHart says.

“They always go down on their knees to thank God [for] something they never thought possible,” she says, explaining why this is her favorite part of the housing project.

“They don’t have to worry about [finding] a home anymore. Now, they can take care of their children; they can take care of surviving.”

Connect with For Haiti With Love here if you’d like to help. Each “starter house” costs $5,000 to complete.

“Pray that our organization can continue getting funds to help Haiti’s poor people. Pray for strength, guidance, and funds,” DeHart requests.



In the header image, Haitian workers build the 30th Pilgrim House.  (Photo courtesy of For Haiti With Love)