Safe housing provides families with security and stability. It also helps to foster a sense of community and togetherness. It is a basic right of all people to have adequate shelter.

 

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day. The theme for 2022 is “Mind The Gap. Leave No One and No Place Behind.”

 

“World Habitat Day 2022 seeks to draw attention to the growing inequalities and vulnerabilities that have been exacerbated by the triple ‘C’ crises — COVID-19, climate and conflict.”United Nations

The gap between the rich and poor has widened due to the “Three C’s”. Combined they have had a negative effect on progress made to end poverty. No place is this growing inequality more evident than in urban areas.  There were almost 163 million newly poor people in urban areas worldwide as of 2021.

In places where we work such as Haiti, Guyana and Jamaica, the issue of housing is pressing. The constant migration of people from the rural areas to the cities in search of work has led to the growth of urban slums.

 

Constructed used materials like mud, sticks, or dried leaves, homes in slums are unsafe. Roofs  can consist of rusted sheet metal or old tarps. Families live in poor sanitary conditions. Many homes do not have bathrooms. This can expose children and their families to cholera and other waterborne diseases.

 

These homes are not secure. They leave people vulnerable to danger such as theft. It leaves them exposed to the elements. Especially during the worsening rainy seasons.

What we do

“One of the core missions at Food For the Poor Canada is to provide those in need with safe and secure homes,” says Executive Director, Samantha Mahfood. “We understand the need for communities to be inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”

 

We launched the It Takes A Village to Build A Village campaign in Derac, Haiti in September 2018. The goal was to raise funds to build 60 homes for families who lived in Derac. Through the generosity of hundreds of Canadians, as of spring 2022, we have achieved our goal. All the families have received the keys to their new homes and have moved in.

 

Watch this video to hear from the community members themselves. The impact these homes have made in their lives is evident in their words.

We Aren’t Done

Over the next few years, Derac will continue to grow.  Plans include a community center, a school, income-generation opportunities, playgrounds. A community garden to create a sustainable food source is already underway.

To date Food for the Poor has built 161 homes in Haiti and 26 homes in Jamaica

To learn more about Food For the Poor’s efforts to bring safe housing to children and families, click here

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