After deadly earthquakes devastated much of Turkey, many nonprofits have made their way to the region, despite the danger of aftershocks, to help provide relief, recovery, and hope. According to CBN News, Operation Blessing has been on the ground in Turkey to meet one of their most desperate needs: housing. While the Turkish government and other nonprofits have been putting up tents for shelter, they are only a very short-term solution. Instead of putting up tents, Operation Blessing is building small shelters using plywood and metal roofing, which makes a more long-term solution.
For people who have lost their homes or whose homes are still likely to collapse, Operation Blessing and other humanitarian groups are giving them a safe place to stay.
Kurt Miller, an Istanbul coffee shop owner who is coordinating the project, is working with churches and putting together a team of volunteers to build the homes. Miller said each house costs roughly $2,750, and the materials for the shelters are sourced mostly from Turkey. The houses are made flexible in that they are easy to take down and be relocated if necessary, and they can be extended if necessary as well.
Miller explained that although the tents provided an immediate relief for people to have some sort of shelter, they only last a few months, if that. The sanitation conditions of the tents and their durability does not meet the same quality that the plywood homes have to offer.
Visiting some of the plywood homes, CBN News found out that while they are meant to last for two years, it is estimated that Turkey may be using them for ten years.
Diego Traverso, Operation Blessing’s Disaster Relief Director, shares that being there is so meaningful for all involved. For the Turkish people, they receive the gift of compassion that brings much needed hope. In turn, those helping to rebuild witness the power of loving and caring for others in need. As they continue to help shelter people in Turkey, Operation Blessing will remain a light in the region, meeting their needs, for as long as is needed.