Shelters for Quake-Hit People in Haiti

It is said that thousands of Haitian people have endured living on dirt floors amid stifling heat and tropical downpours since the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

But about 1,000 of Haiti’s most vulnerable people, particularly the elderly and young children, are finding some relief in temporary shelter structures provided by Haitian Relief & Missions (HRM) and its all-volunteer U.S. workers.

UNICEF reveals that Haiti’s 4 million children continue to suffer from inequitable access to basic water, sanitation, healthcare, and education services and protection from disease, exploitation, and unsanitary conditions.

Today, more than 1 million people – approximately 380,000 of whom are children – still live in crowded camps. (Read: Haiti Children Still Suffering after Quake)

[ Also Read: Cabins of Hope to Help Children from Haiti ]

The HRM shelters feature windows and solid floors, walls, doors and roofs. This and other HRM aid, including a medical clinic, water wells, vocational training and a school with 500 students, are providing hope to Haitian families.

“We’ve erected 200 custom-designed 8 foot by 16 foot shelters with more in the works. By American standards, the shelter is tiny and basic, but for Haitian people in desperate need, this is a very livable place for temporary housing,” said Steve Miller, chairman of HRM.

[ Also Read: CARE Cares for Quake-hit People in Haiti ]

HRM’s shelter kits include a folding kitchen table, kitchen wares, one built-in bed, mattresses for adults and multiple sleeping pads for children.

The shelter has a metal roof. Its walls and floor are constructed of environmentally friendly engineered wood that is stated to be stronger than regular lumber and treated for resistance to termite infestation, fungi and moisture.

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Rakesh Raman