Building a Legacy | Safe Homes & Structures in Haiti & Abaco
Homes are not only a place of shelter but also a source of security. Poorly constructed homes in the Caribbean lack stability and put families and their health at risk. Families can only effectively protect themselves with secure housing. Safe homes and structures improve the lives of families and communities in the Caribbean.
Housing is a critical issue in rural Haiti, where many families struggle to provide adequate shelter. Homes in these areas are often constructed with mud and sticks, making them highly vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. These homes, typically less than 300 square feet in size, often house an average of six people. They lack basic necessities like running water and electricity. These factors contribute to various health issues, especially among children.
We recognize the importance of addressing this issue and have taken steps through our Safe Homes initiative to improve the living conditions of families in rural Haiti. By providing cleaner living environments, we can help reduce illness by up to 90%, decrease infant deaths from preventable diseases, and increase school attendance in older children. In the last 15 years, we have built 123 homes and installed 1,049 concrete floors, providing safe and clean living environments for over 7,000 people. To support families, our staff and chaplains visit homes to monitor progress and offer additional support, such as food and medical assistance.
In September 2019, Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on Central and North Abaco, leaving behind a path of destruction that shook communities. The storm brought a tidal surge of 20 feet and winds gusting up to 280 miles per hour. The storm surge swallowed entire townships, leaving only a few structures standing and causing extensive damage to approximately 90% of the infrastructure in Marsh Harbour. The Abacos power grid was completely destroyed, and over 2,500 small-to-medium-sized businesses were affected. The rebuilding efforts faced further setbacks when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020, leaving many structures untouched for years.
Rebuilding infrastructure is a critical issue in Abaco. We have stepped in to walk alongside local organizations and families, remaking that which was broken and transforming the community in tangible ways.
We partner with locals to restore buildings and landscapes in Central Abaco, including homes, churches, schools, and beautification projects. Listening to their stories brings holistic restoration, providing relief and dignity to a rebuilding community. In 2023, we rebuilt the Murphy Town Community Center, now serving as a hub and hurricane shelter with improved facilities. We worked with the Assemblies of God to revitalize Camp Abaco through solar power and renovations, enhancing its impact on Caribbean youth.
You can give individuals the gift of a safe environment by providing the gift of a concrete floor, a new home, or supporting ongoing restoration efforts. Donate through our Give Joy catalog today.