The deadly earthquake that devastated Haiti has left more than one million people homeless. As the people of Haiti try to cope with the massive loss of life, they must also struggle with the fact that so many of them have no where to live. Makeshift homes and refugee camps can be found throughout the capital of Port-Au-Prince. The Haitian government has just announced plans to set up tent cities in order to house more than 400,000 people in a safer, cleaner environment outside Port-Au-Prince. And Habitat for Humanity International is planning to erect thousands of expandable and quake-resistant one-room homes to shelter the homeless.
This natural disaster has created a human services crisis in Haiti, which will linger for months and probably years to come. But for now, the world is coming to Haiti’s aid. Thanks to the incredible generosity of people throughout the world, much needed emergency supplies — food and water — are making its way to Haiti. Health care workers are donating their time to treat the masses of people injured in the quake. Nearly $1 billion in emergency and long term aid has been pledged by foreign nations, including the United States. There has been an outpouring of donations from people around the world.
Here in the U.S., we have recently seen the ranks of the homeless swell under our struggling economy. At the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we have seen people walk in who have lost their homes to foreclosure or who can’t afford to eat. They are among the new faces of the homeless. But the number of newly homeless in Haiti is staggering. Imagine one million people who suddenly have no place to live!
The entire world is focused on helping the people of Haiti and rebuilding that tiny nation as quickly as possible. It warms my heart and makes me proud to witness the kindness and true compassion of the human race.