Updated: Jun 22
Even before the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti in August 2021, most Haitian families were living in deplorable conditions due to extreme poverty and destruction from natural disasters. For example, Tiburon is a rural community where more than 75% of families live in extreme poverty. This particular area is isolated, lacks access to resources to rebuild from prior disasters and has been unable to prepare a sustainable solution for protection against natural disasters.
That’s why housing is one of the pillars of our Overture Social Support Model. Families and communities living in safer, more resilient homes are more likely to not just survive disasters, but also live more productive, independent lives.
Housing is truly the foundation for building Haiti Stronger!
The Long-Term Plan for Building Haiti Stronger
Since the earthquake on August 14th, 2021, through the generosity of our donors, we’ve secured the funding to build and/or repair 143 homes for families in crisis who are living in the communities we serve. It is critical for us to continue seeking housing support because Overture is committed to long-term solutions designed to build independence and self-sufficiency.
The positive impact this is having on these individual families and their communities at large is next to none. Our traditional home model can house up to 10 people and they often become the go-to home in communities for gatherings and safety. Made for all geographic areas, our traditional homes are disaster-resilient and can withstand up to a category 3 hurricane. Each home costs $8,000 (price has recently increased from $7,500 due to an increase of material cost in Haiti) to build and consist of :
550 total square feet
block wall construction
wood frame, tin roof, concrete flooring
rebar structural reinforcements
secure metal doors and windows
Almost as importantly as the building of new houses, every new home that we build leads to a working community which strengthens the local economy. We empower the surrounding community by collaborating with local leadership, purchasing supplies locally and hiring community members to build the new homes. And through the process, local crew members are able to support their families and gain hands-on experience that gives them skills toward gaining future employment. That’s why housing is truly the foundation for building Haiti Stronger.
Families Remain in Crisis after 7.2 Earthquake August 14, 2021
What was already a horrible housing situation before the earthquake, was made even more devastating by the disaster. Just ten days following the earthquake, outside authorities assessed that more than 40,000 homes in ten of the communities served by Overture International were damaged or destroyed. We estimate that many more homes are going to require significant repairs to ensure they are safe to inhabit.
Thankfully, our assessments have revealed that those homes built by Overture had a much higher survival rate than other homes that were not. These amazing results were made possible through the support of our generous donors!
Since the earthquake, more than 400 families remain sheltered in three tent camps located in Les Cayes. While many of these families come from impoverished communities, the conditions in the camps are even more dangerous. They lack basic sanitation, hygiene and access to safe, nutritious food. Sadly, the government, although unable to provide assistance for these families, are giving families deadlines to vacate the public areas where the camps are. In fact, one of the local mayors and city councils have reached out to Overture to ask for assistance, as they’ve seen the positive impact we’ve had on the communities we serve.
With your continued support, Overture stands ready to help alleviate the suffering of our friends in southern Haiti, to provide the opportunity to live with dignity and to work toward building a more independent future, and to building Haiti Stronger!
Tent Camp Solutions
Overture has begun the work of assessing families and making plans for moving them out of these camps and back to their communities into safer temporary housing with access to basic services, clean water, food, schools and our other social support programs. Once they are stabilized, we will work with them to find a permanent home solution - some will qualify for a new home.
Throughout this process families will be counseled on how to access education for the children and parenting, vocational and skills training for the adults to equip them for a more independent, self-sustaining future. We are NOT just suggesting a temporary fix, we intend to invest in a robust, proven process that builds Haiti Stronger one person, one family and one community at a time.
Here’s our three-step process for helping these families move from the struggles of the tent camps to the stability of their home communities and eventually, to their own homes:
1. Reintegrate 400+ families out of camps
Reintegrate 400+ families out of camps and back into their communities in safer, more livable temporary housing where Overture can equip them to participate in rebuilding their and others homes, support food distribution for them and their community, and have access to Overture proven Social Support Model that focuses on five core programs - nutrition, housing, education. healthcare and Social Empowerment.
2. Begin thorough assessments for the homebuilding process.
Overture’s assessments will provide vital information to determine what supports can be provided to families. For families that qualify for housing support, we will equip the family members and community with the resources, training and oversight they need to rebuild their homes. Not only will they have a new home, but they will have newly acquired skills that they can use to earn an income for their families, beginning with their own home.
3. Provide access to the Overture’s core programs in our Social Support Model
Families reintegrated from the camps will have access to workshops conducted by our social workers to help them access nutrition, educational services, healthcare, and Social Empowerment services to help them in their journey to independence and self-sufficiency.