Homes ship out of Georgetown, headed for Haiti

By Tracey Amick  bio | email

GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - More than 340 homes left Georgetown for Haiti on Tuesday.

The help comes nearly six months after a devastating earthquake hit the island nation. For the past few months, volunteers in the Myrtle Beach area have logged hundreds of hours building the small rectangular homes.

Each home is designed to sleep between eight and 12 people.

"Parts of the city still look like the day after the earthquake," said Murray Douglas, who has been in Haiti for the last five months. "You can drive down the main road and there's piles of rubble sides of building just hanging by a piece of rebar."

The efforts to help with shelter here in the Lowcountry are led by a group called Christ in Action.

Each of the bundles being shipped have a specific part for four different homes. Some are floor bases some are sides and some are roofs once it is put together. There are bunks that can sleep 12 people and once it gets to Haiti, only a screw gun is needed to keep it in place.

Dr. Denny Nissley, found of Christ in Action, said that 342 homes were built in Houston, Tex., Manassas, Va. and Myrtle Beach. On Tuesday, the homes were loaded onto the MV Integrity at the Georgetown Port for a five-day trip to Haiti.

"In America you'd look at it and say that's a really nice tool shed," Nissley said. "It's eight feet by 12 feet and it's got a nine and a half-foot roof. In Haiti they sleep in their homes. They don't hang out and watch TV in it because 70 percent of Haiti cooks outdoors and they have outdoor plumbing."

The homes should last 15 years and were designed with Haitians in mind.

"The roofs are built on a slant so they can collect the rainwater as it comes off the ends of the roof are open for heat escape and ventilatio," Nissley said.

Workers, truckers, storage and even the ships were donated with volunteers donating their times to keep supplies and costs down.

"These homes are $600 a piece that builds them, brings them to the port, puts them on a boat and brings them to Haiti," Nissley said.

Volunteers said that they hope Americans remember Haiti's tragedy is far from over.

"It's a country that's going need a lot of time to recover and people need a lot of help my challenge would be don't forget Haiti," Douglas said.

To learn how you can help, visit the Christ in Action website.

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