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Sukup Builds Village of Hope in Haiti with Grain Bins
May 09, 2012
Modified Sukup grain bins are now home to 11 eleven families in Les Cayes, Haiti. The “Village of Hope” will eventually have 50 of the Safe T Homes.
The 18-foot-diameter Safe T Homes will be used as temporary shelters for families, who will learn agricultural and entrepreneurial skills, then move out when they find family-supporting employment and adequate housing elsewhere. Then another family can move in. Prospective residents are being screened by Global Compassion Network
, a nonprofit agency that is administering the Village of Hope project.
Brett Nelson, who spearheaded the idea of using bins made by Sukup as shelters, and three others from Sukup (Nick Sukup, Luke Erickson and Joe Germain) led a team to build the village that will one day total seven circles of seven homes. Each “pod” will have a gazebo at the center as a gathering place. The trip took place in February and each day about 100 people gathered at the construction site, most of them hoping to land a job building the homes. They also found very capable workers on-site and divided them into four teams –working on sidewalls, roofing and ballast boxes – and built two houses per day. The last of the 11 homes was put up almost entirely by Haitians.
The Safe T Home was recently recognized by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers as an AE50 Award winner. The awards recognize outstanding agricultural innovations that have potential for broad impact, and a key to the Safe T Homes’ use as transitional housing is the ease with which they can be built. An experienced team of four can put one up in just a few hours using minimal tools. Even a novice crew can have one up and ready in a day.
The homes have a double roof and vented eaves that are much more comfortable than one would imagine. A 36’ Safe T Home is planned to be built as a clinic and another as a church.
Sukup President Charles Sukup and Chief Financial Officer Steve Sukup agreed to donate 14 Safe T Homes, and Nelson began coordinating the design and fabrication of the homes and putting the word out about them.
Along with Global Compassion Network, Sukup Manufacturing is partnering with the Iowa Food & Family Project
, which is an initiative launched by the Iowa Soybean Association; and Meals from the Heartland
, an Iowa-based nonprofit that has packaged more than 20 million meals for hungry families around the world.
The goal is to deliver 48 Safe T Homes this spring. So far, there are enough donations for 34 Safe T Homes. Twenty-six have been shipped, and an additional were shipped the first part of the May.