CBF Disaster Response

Southern Tornadoes

CBFAR Disaster Response Team April 2011

A Disaster Response Team from Christ Episcopal Church, First United Methodist and Second Baptist Little Rock leave for Vilonia to continue their work in helping families. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas is happy to serve as a resource for the team. Team leader Roy Peterson can be contacted at 501.590.6669.


CBF Responds to Haiti - Update

CBF continues to help in Haiti. Read the latest update from Reid Doster, CBF Disaster Response Associate Coordinator here.

Local churches are getting involved. Read the inspiring story of Walt Barfield and Cornerstone Evangelical Church.

CBF, in partnership with Second Baptist Church downtown Little Rock, sent a team to Grand Goave, Haiti in late March. The team helped with construction and cleanup efforts in Grand Goave and further established a CBF presence in the city. Other CBF teams will follow to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Haiti. Watch the video to experience sights and sounds from Haiti.

The following is a housing proposal from the Haiti Housing Network, a collaborative effort between The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Conscience International, The Fuller Center for Housing and The Baptist General Convention of Texas. This proposal denotes the most current information from Haiti as of 9/27/10.


Haiti Housing Network logo



Many Haitians have been displaced due to the earthquake.

A Project of a Collaborative Network between

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Conscience International, The Fuller Center for Housing and The Baptist General Convention of Texas

2930 Flowers Road South, #133

Atlanta, GA 30341





The tragic January 12, 2010 earthquake caused unparalleled devastation and loss of life in Haiti. One relief expert called it "the worst humanitarian calamity ever as the consequence of a natural disaster," due to the high population density and numbers of people affected.

What is uncontestable is that millions are affected, with up to two million people displaced and homeless. Victims are crowded into flimsy tent cities made of sticks and bed sheets. Protection against the elements is in many cases non-existent because suitable plastic or canvas coverings are not available.

Hait Housing Network's response - build homes.

Haiti Housing Network's Response

The HHN project is as much concerned with social issues as shelter issues. Our plan avoids massive social engineering schemes that, even with the best intentions, often fail, serving only to alienate the victims they intend to help. It is instead based on a one by one, family by family survey and needs analysis designed by specialists and conducted in the camps by local persons, including Haitian pastors and church members, with great regard to cultural sensitivity. If possible, the program builds on the family's own land, and incorporates family participation in the project. Alternatively, if larger tracts of private or public land are secured for large-scale homebuilding, the goal will be to match shelter needs with social space compatible with Haitian lifestyles.

Materials are recycled from existing rubble to create the new homes. These are simple, sturdy homes. A newly built home.


The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is a fellowship of Christians and churches who share a passion for the Great Commission of Jesus and a commitment to His teachings. CBF established a base camp in Grand Goave, Haiti shortly after the earthquake in January 2010. From that location, about 40 miles southwest of Port au Prince, the Haiti Housing Network will be based.

Conscience International has worked in over thirty countries and built homes as a part of relief projects in Honduras, India, and Thailand, as well as Haiti. Haiti Replacement Homes Project Director Jeremy Holloman has supervised construction projects in Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, and the USA.

The Fuller Center for Housing was started in spring of 2005 by Millard Fuller and his wife Linda, who co-founded Habitat for Humanity in 1976. Fuller set out to expand his missionary vision by returning to his roots at Koinonia Farm, a cooperative community dedicated to peace and service in rural southwest Georgia. A new mission statement was issued at Koinonia - also the birthplace of Habitat - dedicating The Fuller Center as a Christ-centered, faith-driven organization witnessing the love of God by providing opportunities for families to have a simple, decent place to live.

The Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) is the oldest Baptist group in Texas. With 2.3 million members attending 5,700 churches, they are also the largest. Their mission is to encourage, facilitate and connect churches in their work to fulfill God's mission of reconciling the world to himself.





Permanent, expandable starter homes

  • Not simply temporary shelters


Earthquake resistant

  • Certified by architectural and engineering research


Inexpensive design--cheap to build

  • About the cost of two popular "shelter box" tents.


Uses recycled aggregate

  • Employs debris from destroyed structures and lowers costs.


Rapidly constructed

  • Five or six workers can erect one in five or six days


Uses material from the family's destroyed home

  • Creates a "buy in" from family's previous investment; increases attachment to their new home


Requires "sweat equity" in the form of donated labor

  • Strengthens a family's independence and pride.


Employs Haitian labor

  • Boosts the local economy



Uses locally available building supplies

  • Stimulates the Haitian economy and avoids expensive imports.


Solves complicated land use issues

  • Builds family by family on previously tenured site


Culturally appropriate

  • Utilizes traditional Haitian architecture and building styles


High social acceptance

  • Families who have moved into HHN homes are very pleased


Suitable size for families

  • Conforms to UN survey of the population's size requirements


Empowers Haitians

  • A "hand up," not a handout


Strengthens social solidarity

  • Enables families to stay in their former neighborhoods


Helps in post-earthquake cleanup

  • Removes unwanted debris


Environmentally friendly

  • Sanitation system employs dry "composting" toilets


Multiple configurations

  • Adaptable for urban or rural settings


Features a veranda and open ventilation

  • Characteristic of Haitian dwellings


Adaptable to closed nighttime use

  • As required by those afraid of evil spirits


Provides security of property and persons

  • Doors have locks; walls and windows are proof against thieves


Accommodates privacy and hygiene needs of families, particularly females, now forced to bathe in public

  • Provided with an enclosed tank-type "pour by pitcher" bath


  • House style is easily replicated and may be used by numerous NGOs in substantial numbers.
  • UN and Haitian government humanitarian aid officials are interested in the new building technology of the homes.
  • Volunteer teams aided by local hired labor will help build the houses initially.
  • Larger scale projects require major funding and employment of large numbers of local workers.
  • The houses are earthquake and hurricane resistant - as certified by architectural and engineering research. One of the chief problems in earthquake zones is that buildings are built with rigid walls and supports, but without pre-planning for adequate steel strength and flexible joints. The technique of using gabions for bearing walls enables the house to flex. This is a pioneering concept and a main feature of the HHN structures.

This approach to building homes utilizes local labor.


Teams of international volunteers will help build individual homes, but each home also requires a "buy-in" in the form of donated labor by members of the family to be benefited. This requirement strengthens the family's sense of independence and pride by mandating "work for benefit." Construction tasks on these homes are sufficiently simple that even a child can help. Examples of manual labor needed for the project are, for the men, breaking defective blocks into suitably-sized aggregate, and for women, older adults, and children, carrying individual pieces to the walls being build. This is an important feature of the HHN project, which is as much about social development as housing. This procedure will help reduce the "handout dependency" mentality and re-emphasize the time-honored slogans emphasized by a succession of Haitian governments: "Dignity, respect, work, and pride."


Houses are provided with a dry toilet and tank-type "pour by pitcher" bath. The sanitation system is innovative and environmentally friendly. HHN structures employ dry "composting" toilets that have been pioneered in the United States and elsewhere as a way to obtain fertilizer that can be used in backyard vegetable gardens. Growing their own vegetables is a way for families to reduce poverty and improve nutrition. Applied to the roots of plants, the resultant compost is safe for all types of vegetables, but cannot be used on leafy plants.


Culturally appropriate--utilizes two traditional architecture and building styles.

Features a veranda and open ventilation--characteristic of Haitian dwellings.

Adaptable to closed nighttime use--as required by those afraid of evil spirits. One of the main concerns of the homeless is that they will be assaulted or robbed, or that their meager possessions will be stolen. The HHN houses protect property and persons.


The HHN plan does not cause social disruption, but integrates buildings into local neighborhoods wherever possible. This allows families to stay in their familiar surroundings and interact with their extended family, friends, local markets, vendors, clinics and other service providers, as well as churches. By developing homes onsite, families are able to experience a reduction of the incidence and impact of post-traumatic stress. Creating homes in existing neighborhoods negates the necessity for large-scale population transfers and the accompanying experience of social dislocation. It will also limit the resistance to urban cleansing operations and the inevitable growth of political protests.


The UN and international NGOs have emphasized the urgent need for shelter for homeless victims of the earthquake.



Permanent Starter Home......................................................................................................$3,000

Description: Size is 4 X 6 meters (= 13 X 19.5 ft., or 253 SF). Foundation, walls, and floor are built of recycled material, with walls 1 ft. thick encased in wire gabions 6 ft. high and covered with cement plaster. Remaining superstructure and roof framing is of lumber covered with corrugated steel. Door, window, skylight, and two small patios front and back brings the cost to about $2,700. Earthquake and hurricane resistance features include the use of a non-rigid foundation, flexible wire-enclosed gabion walls, and vertical steel rebar anchors.



Size-exterior dimensions -- 4 X 6 m. = 14.6' X 19.5' = area: 247 SF Foundation -- 18" wide X 24" deep

Foundation materials -- Crushed limestone block

Walls-wire gabions -- 2' wide, galvanized, welded

Wall materials -- recycled limestone aggregate

Roof -- Wood & corrugated metal sheeting

Floor -- Concrete

Veranda & Kitchen/bath area -- Each are 6' X 9' concrete & block

Windows, doors -- Wood frame, wood with hardware


Structural engineering certification is being provided by Structural Consulting Group, LLC, a construction consulting firm in Atlanta, Georgia, headed by a Professor of Structural Engineering at Georgia Tech.


Breakdown of Cost per Unit-Starter Homes

Materials, including freight


Skilled & unskilled labor


Needs survey (per unit)


Drivers, Translators (per unit)






Total per unit-Starter Homes -- $3000

Funding Request

1,250 Permanent Homes as Described---$3,750,000

For more information, contact:

Charles Ray, Disaster Response Coordinator | Cooperative Baptist Fellowship | 1504 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive | Little Rock, AR 72202 | 501.680.2722 cell | 501.223.8586 office | cray@cbfar.org | www.thefellowship.info

Return to the home page.