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Hope in Haiti


La Plaine, Baraderes is a small village of approximately 500 - 600 dwellings. Less than two miles away, the town of Baraderes is considered to be the closest city to the epicenter of the August 14 earthquake — measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale. From the home base of HFI Haiti, this is a distance of about 112 miles, which means a five-hour drive. The last 90 minutes of rocky, bumpy, winding, mountain climbing, body jarring minutes lead to this remote destination.  The natural scenery is beautiful —although the closer you come to Baraderes, the ravages of the August 14 earthquake became more and more apparent.  

HFI Haiti staff have made three visits now, in collaboration with their neighbor and contractor, Mr. Marc Tingue, who has family in the Baraderes area — especially in La Plaine. This connection immediately opened doors when we visited, as long-term relationships are already in place.

On the second trip, HFI co-founder and President Jack Minton, along with our partner —Crossroads Church representative, Darin Kroger — were present as well. Jack states: “Within minutes of our arrival, we met some of the residents of La Plaine, Baraderes, distributed relief goods and were invited to see the results of the August 14 quake.  Candidly, we were not prepared for the level of destruction we witnessed.   Mr. Tingue, our local Haitian partner, was overwhelmed by the destruction he found in La Plaine.  Over 90% of the modest Haitian style homes have suffered irreparable damage and the rest are compromised to the point of being uninhabitable.  Despair and hopelessness permeates the lives of most survivors, leaving a desperate plea for help imprinted on each of their faces.  Joseph, our community leader from Sous Savanne, expressed that the destruction in La Plaine was even larger than the damage in his own community in 2010.

People are living in unimaginably tragic conditions. We observed many people, including the elderly and struggling mothers, using what could be scraped together to create shelter from the sun, heat and heavy downpours of rain.  For some, the tarps we were able to provide were seen as an incredible provision…representing the hope of a dry dwelling.
“Yes, we need food, we need water — but what we need most is shelter. We are struggling to sleep and can barely survive without relief!” 
As we sat in the cobbled-together dwelling of one of the survivors, we shared our impressions of what we were seeing.  Each of us recognized that we were just exposed to conditions far more dire than any other location we had visited, and shared how this impacted us.  We listened as Mr. Tingue relayed his impressions, and what others have told him; the need for shelter is the highest priority. HFI Haiti co-director, Rene Lako, related that he had visited several other areas hit by the earthquake, but that La Plaine brought him to tears during his first visit — just four days after the quake struck.
Hope Force is familiar with the requirements of providing shelter for earthquake survivors in Haiti. To date, we’ve built 83 permanent homes in our adopted village of Sous Savanne.  This experience, and the many relationships built over the past ten years, positions us to immediately commence a shelter program.  Our intent is to provide relief to as many as we can in the village of La Plaine, where help is so desperately needed.


We will be purchasing what is known as “Maxima Starter Homes” — a kit made of pressure treated lumber that comes in prebuilt modules.  This process reduces waste, ensures compliance to design by minimizing human error and greatly expedites the building process.  This 245 sq. ft. home is designed in keeping with a modest sized Haitian dwelling. The recipient of the home will be a part of the project by digging the foundation, providing water to mix the concrete for the foundation slab and assisting in other aspects of the process.

On the third trip to La Plaine, HFI staff and community leaders conducted intakes for the initial candidates — recording personal information, their story and taking pictures of the damaged or destroyed homes. It’s the team’s desire to ensure that the most vulnerable are the first to receive assistance.

 Hope Force is in the process of developing this program. Initial cost estimates — which reflect the costs of the Maxima Starter Home kit, transportation, labor and other incidental expenses — come to $5,000 per home.  The Maxima home kit can be secured within three weeks of receiving payment.  Our goal is to place the initial order in time to commence construction by the end of September 2021.   Hope Force is seeking funding for an inaugural effort to build the first 10 homes, with the hope that in so doing, the community will be inspired to a renewed level of hope.

We invite you to join us in this expression of restorative compassion by becoming a financial partner in this critical endeavor.  Thank you!