Habitat for Humanity International has set a goal of serving 50,000 families affected by the tragic Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. Habitat’s commitment to Haiti comes with the pledge that it will not distract from commitments elsewhere in the world. The Haiti response will have a specifically dedicated staff for the next three to five years, much as did Habitat’s response for the 2005 hurricane damage on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Funds used in Haiti will be donations specifically designated for that purpose. Habitat will not divert funds from other needs. Habitat for Humanity International has asked U.S. affiliates to support the Haiti response. In the spirit of “One Habitat,” Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East is joining forces with other U.S. affiliates to help raise the funds necessary to help with the Haiti commitment.
Habitat for Humanity’s CEO, Jonathan Reckford shares these messages:
- Habitat will serve as many families in Haiti as resources allow. We will do this through a variety of programs-from providing the emergency shelter kits to helping with transitional shelters to building core houses in partnership with the local government and other organizations.
- Our response will be implemented through strategically located Habitat Resource Centers. Contextualized to local needs, HRCs may focus on such services as producing construction materials (e.g., concrete blocks), offering skills training and loaning out tools or heavy equipment-all in ways that develop and support local livelihoods.
- Habitat for Humanity rebuilds communities and restores hope. Our disaster recovery efforts include family participation and holistic community development to bring back a sense of stability and cohesion in the families and the communities. Habitat is committed to staying with communities throughout the reconstruction process.
- Housing reconstruction is one of the most challenging components of any disaster recovery plan. It requires titled land, skilled labor, materials, and infrastructure – most of which are in short supply following a disaster.