Habitat prepares to help Haiti - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Habitat prepares to help Haiti

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

AMERICUS, GA (WALB) – Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have virtually nothing tonight, including a roof over their heads.

Many groups are on the way to help, including Americus-based Habitat for Humanity.

Transportation has been difficult after the quake and like many others, Habitat for Humanity had to take the long way to get to the disaster area.

Kip Scheidler, the Senior Director for Global Disaster Response for Habitat for Humanity said, "they had to go to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Cross land, cross the border and find their way to Port-au-Prince."

Compounding the already tough situation for Habitat is the fact that some of their personnel on the ground are unaccounted for.  But Scheidler believes that all of their staff are OK.

"It doesn't mean that people are hurt or something is wrong, we just haven't been able to find them," he said.

And once everyone is found, that's when the tough part begins.

At Habitat for Humanity's Global Village and Discovery Center in Americus, you can see the kind of housing that's going to replace the housing that was destroyed in Haiti.

In nations such as Haiti, living quarters for too many thousands of people are shacks.  Too many homes that crumbled when the shaking came.  Replacing homes like this was the reason that Habitat already had plenty of experience in the country.

"We've been in Haiti for 26 years," Scheidler said.

During that time they've built about 2000 homes.

"They're strong, they're built out of concrete block," he said.

And even though some well built buildings did not survive the temblor, Scheidler has faith that the Habitat homes will stand strong.

Scheidler said, "we're trusting that we'll come through this fine."

In the coming months, Habitat will be stepping up their efforts throughout the quake zone, to do what they do best, rebuilding lives through good housing.

"We'll be back there with them, helping them clean up their lots, identifying what can be saved, re-use that material, repair their houses if we can. And if we can't, we're going to clean those lots and build new houses," Scheidler said.

And with the help of organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, soon the Haitian flag will fly proudly again.

Habitat leaders say the best way you can help with their work in Haiti is through monetary donations.

Find out how to give by going to their website.

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