The Medic Samaritan Shelter program constructs and furnishes new homes for families in Haiti, but endeavors to provide Haitian families with a number of things beyond reliable shelter.
Samaritan Homes are designed with elements that will maximize the potential of the residents to live healthy lives, while the location of the homes, each on a plot of sustainable farming land, will provide a consistent income opportunity for the family.
The health of a family in Haiti can depend greatly on the features of their home. Many homes in Haiti are built directly on the ground, using the bare earth as a floor. Samaritan Homes pours concrete foundations for each home it builds, ensuring that ground moisture and cold are kept out. Access to clean water for bathing, cooking, and drinking is also critical to minimize the risk of disease. To further improve sanitation and health, each home is fitted with a water filtration system to provide clean, potable water to the family for personal use and agriculture purposes.
Before a family is chosen for a new home, a location is found that can support one or more sustainable crops that can be farmed by the family and then sold to earn or supplement income. Sustainability is essential for the long-term success of both the individual family and the greater community.
To expand the benefits of home construction beyond one family and into the community as a whole, all building supplies and home furnishings are purchased in Haiti, and a Haitian workforce is employed to perform the construction. This is important, as money kept within the community helps stabilize the local economy and encourages sustainability.
Home sites and recipients are chosen in consultation with community elders, to ensure that those with the greatest need, usually families with children, receive help quickly. Samaritan Homes is gradually increasing their work in Haiti, with a goal of completing four houses per year. As homes in Haiti are frequently subjected to severe weather elements such as tropical storms and very warm sun, Medic Samaritan partners with local non-profits to inspect completed homes every two years. If needed, Medic Samaritan will employ local community members to repair roofs, repaint, and re-caulk.
As with all of our projects, we intend for our work with Samaritan Shelters to glorify God and His word. The work is not easy, but the rewards are great, both for our teams and the home recipients. Our teams spend days carrying supplies over rugged terrain to home sites that are often 2-3 miles from the main road before they can even begin the process of home construction. When all is complete, a family has been provided the essentials of life: shelter, access to clean water, and the tools with which to support themselves into the future.