Haiti Earthquake: 6 years later

Port-au-Prince after the earthquake

On January 12, 2010 the people of Haiti experienced an earthquake that measured a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale. More than 230,000 people were killed as a result of this earthquake. One and a half million Haitians were initially displaced. As of September 2014 over 85,000 people were still displaced.

St. Joseph Home for Boys

The earthquake devastated Port-au-Prince and left the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys near complete collapse.  As a result, the young residents of the home were forced to relocate to Trinity House, a St. Joseph Family facility in Jacmel, roughly 50 miles south of Port-au-Prince on the Caribbean Sea.

photo of St. Joseph's Home for Boys after the Haiti earthquake

Memories and material possessions were lost – Ben Splichal Larsen, a young seminarian from the United States was tragically lost amid the rubble – and a whole way of life changed in an instant. By the grace of God, no residents of the St. Joseph Family lost their lives as the building collapsed and the home’s director, Bill Nathan, was flung seven stories off the top of the building, but lived to tell his story of survival to the world.
In the coming months, the rubble was cleared, the boys moved to Trinity House in Jacmel and into the art center at St. Joseph’s. A comfortable home next door was purchased and retrofitted to accommodate a steady stream of guests, who never stopped coming to visit the St. Joseph Family despite travel advisories and outbreaks of Cholera across Haiti.
Today, thanks to the support of friends across the world, a brand new vibrant St. Joseph’s home stands in the footprint of the original facility. Guests continue to fill the rooms and the spectacular collection of Haitian visual art, mostly spared from destruction during the earthquake, adorns the guest house.

 

Photos of St. Joseph's Home for Boys before and after the Haiti earthquake

Wings of Hope

After the earthquake of 2010 destroyed Wings of Hope, all residents at Wings of Hope were relocated to two rental homes. However, these homes were not handicap-accessible and the children and staff face numerous challenges in their daily tasks and educational and therapy programs. Working closely with prominent Haitian architect Lionel Allen and with support from donors across the world, the St. Joseph Family and Hearts with Haiti recently rebuilt a new, handicap-accessible, earthquake-resistant Wings of Hope. This new home is located in Jacmel, Haiti and includes facilities for education, therapy, living, recreation, and worship.

On January 29, 2016 visitors from near and far gathered to celebrate the opening of the new Wings of Hope. Nearly 100 visitors from over a dozen organizations were present to congratulate the family and tour their new home!

Located just next door to the new Wings of Hope is Lekòl sen Trinite, a school that provides an education for over 150 of the city’s poorest children, and a beautiful, well-appointed guest house for visitors.

Collage of construction pictures during rebuilding of Wings of Hope after the Haiti earthquake

Sadraque and Steve show off their new home at Wings of Hope - rebuilt after the Haiti earthquake