We respond to the needs of the poor and engage our volunteers in life-changing experiences through the provision of homes.
Our vision is to be a trusted builder of homes for sustainable communities in Central America and Haiti.
Christ-Centered: To live and proclaim Jesus' message through compassionate service to the poor.
High-Impact: To improve the health, safety, and dignity of the poor and change the hearts of our volunteers.
Our model focuses on partnership and empowerment. Instead of giving handouts, which would only create dependence and meet immediate needs, we partner with the poor to help them improve their lives. The families we serve build their homes alongside us, gaining pride and a sense of ownership through their work.
We also know that to make a home, there must be community. So, we identify and partner with an existing community leader before beginning our projects. Rather than building houses and then trying to find tenants, we work within existing communities, building upon existing ties and relationships. With this method, we've found that communities are more likely to thrive, achieving true sustainability and independence. All of these things focus on improving the opportunity for long-term success, giving people the chance to improve their own lives and to have a future where success is attainable through work and dedication.
In 2001, a 7.7 magnitude earthquake shook the nation of El Salvador. It was followed by over 2,500 aftershocks and another earthquake just one month later. The destruction was widespread: at least 1,159 people were killed, and another 500,000 people were left homeless. In addition, landslides caused extreme damage to the country's infrastructure, including roads and water systems.
A group of Kansas City businessmen founded Homes from the Heart in response to the disaster. Michael Bonderer was asked to step in as the on-the-ground coordinator, and he and his wife, Zuze, have been living in El Salvador and working with Homes from the Heart ever since. Homes from the Heart has now built over 500 homes, as well as churches, a school, playgrounds, and met many other community needs. We are there for the long haul, building relationships within the communities and being flexible to respond to the needs that arise.
In 2010, Haiti was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that left over 1 million people homeless. Homes from the Heart immediately expanded it's efforts to include work in Croix de Bouquets, Haiti, building homes and sustainable communities for Haitians affected by the disaster. We've already built over 60 homes and are continuing to help there, one family at a time.
Homes from the Heart also works in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Even though those countries have not seen the same level of destruction from natural disasters, severe poverty has created a great need for an organization such as Homes from the Heart to help communities develop and become sustainable.