On January 12th, 2010 Haiti was devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake,
and as the news reports slowly trickled out of the capital, Port-au-Prince, Americans watched and prayed for the people of Haiti. Stories of miraculous survival and determination were aired nightly on network broadcasts and many everyday Americans decided to go to Haiti and help. Now, in the weeks that have followed, massive airlifts of water, food and medicines made there way to the devastated country to avert more casualties. Christian NGO’s and the US Military have spearheaded the effort, and people everywhere continue to pray for Haiti.
But what happens to Haiti now? One of the largest crisis facing the Haitian people is the fact that most families are now homeless. When we traveled to Port-au-Prince 12-days after the earthquake, the whole of the city was living outdoors. Most homes in the city were either destroyed or structurally unsound to live in, and as a result, massive tent cities have sprung up throughout Port-au-Prince. These tent cities consist of any material people scavenge from the rubble (wood, metal, bed sheets, ect…), but in their entirety, these tent cities are NOT proper shelters. The biggest problem is that most of these makeshift tents are covered simply with cotton sheets. What is needed is water proof tarps to protect families from the coming rainy season. The basic needs of any human is water, food and shelter. Water and food have been a focus of most NGO’s in the first weeks of the disaster, and delivered in rapid order, but now proper shelters are the most important need!
Recently, a medical team, upon entering one of the tent cities to do a free clinic, was rushed by desperate Haitians. The Haitians were happy to have the medical support, but were desperately asking for any plastics sheets they might have. “We need a place to live,” was consistently the request.
Everyday on our journeys to Haiti we visited the worst hit sections of Port-au-Prince, and witnessed large groups of people digging and clawing through rubble to get any pieces of wood or debris, to have something to sleep under at night. Desperation ran so high Haitian police ignorantly assumed these everyday Haitians were looters and began shooting people. We personally witnessed three shootings and saw one man killed for scavenging. This could be avoided, is all we could think!
So what do we do? Upon seeing the looming crisis, with the approaching rainy season, we want to help by giving shelters to the people of Haiti.
What kind of shelters can we give? For $30 we can give one family a waterproof tarp system. This system will house a large family and protect them from the coming rainy season.
How many do we plan to give? Our first allotment is destined for 300 families at local church we visited in Port-au-Prince. These families all currently live in tent cities and to give this gift would change lives! So if we give 300 families a waterproof tarp system, it will cost $9,000.
What happens if we give more than $9,000? Then more people get tarps! There is no lack of need in Haiti for shelters, and to give $30 means a family will have shelter.
How do I give for Shelters? To give to the Shelter the Road campaign all you have to do is visit our website at www.traveltheroad.com or Call 1-866-397-5673. For the next weeks all giving notated as Gospel Expedition via the website will go to the Shelter the Road campaign, or if you send in a check to Travel the Road, please notate Haiti, and we will add that amount to Shelter the Road.
Travel the Road
PO BOX 92444
Los Angeles, CA 90009
We can all make a difference, and through your prayers and support, Haiti will recover! Peace be with you.
Tim and Will
From the Frontlines of Haiti