Haiti Diary: Bishop’s House Becomes Shelter

In late September, photojournalist David Snyder traveled to Haiti for CRS. His mission was to document what he found in the flood-ravaged country. The following is the third post in this series.

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This photo from the second floor of a building in the bishop’s compound in Gonaives shows the extend of the damage caused by mud. This compound was flooded with about eight feet of water, and provided shelter for hundreds in the weeks after the storm. CRS supported the bishop with 150 family food kits for those living at the compound. Photo by David Snyder for CRS.

Sunday, September 28, 2008 Gonaives, Haiti: Took a trip over to the bishop’s house here in Gonaives. Since the night of the hurricane it has been a shelter for as many as 600 people who made their way, some during the peak of the storm, to the two-story residence – one of the few in Gonaives. There are still probably about 150 people living there – no one knows the exact figure because most people there travel out to their former homes during the day, working to clean what they can, then return at night. It’s a desperate scene, with people crowding into rooms, sleeping where they can. CRS provided 150 family food kits to the beneficiaries there. Later tonight CRS sent a truck out to a school to deliver tools for a cash-for-work project scheduled to start tomorrow. Because the streets are still flooded in many areas, the truck got stuck – its back wheel dropping into a submerged drainage ditch. It took two hours to get it out, and another two to get the tools off loaded and delivered safely to the school because the truck was damaged and wouldn’t run. Such things are typical in the midst of emergencies like this. Sometimes, improvisation is the key to getting things done.

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2 Responses to “Haiti Diary: Bishop’s House Becomes Shelter”

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