Many Haitians Still Homeless Six Months after Quake

Reporting from Corail-Cesselesse, Haiti — It was when lightning struck her tent the other day that Marie Vernita Lysius realized that the 6-month-long chain of calamities was not going to end.

Lysius’ home was crushed by the Jan. 12 earthquake, sending her into a teeming encampment of flimsy stick-and-tarp shelters. She was later bused to a better-equipped tent city on this windblown plain 15 miles north of Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.

Then the lightning bolt hit a support, spraying holes in her tent and injuring two family members, during a severe storm that blew down more than 300 shelters. The storm reminded the displaced that the hurricane season is upon them and that they have nowhere else to go.

More than six months after Haiti’s catastrophic quake, a thickening sense of hopelessness hangs over the estimated 1.5 million displaced people who await more durable shelters.

“At first we thought that the way the international community was coming together that in six months we’d be off the street. But we’re still here,” said Stella Nicholas, one of 12 people crammed into a cluster of tarpaulin shelters near downtown Port-au-Prince that felt as hot and airless as the inside of a giant mitten.   (read more at

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