Recently the D2C Family Home moved into a new home in the community of Cyvadier, very close to the Cyvadier Plage Hotel. What began as a very difficult and complicated situation ended in a special gift for our Haitian family.
At the end of June our annual lease was due for renewal. A few days before the full yearʼs rent was due,(which is what was required with our rental agreement), the landlord sent a construction team to the house without warning, to begin building a second floor on the house. Overnight our peaceful and secure home turned into a noisy construction site full of dust and strange men.
Not only was this an unsafe environment for our children, but it also put us in jeopardy with IBERS (Haitian Social Services) due to the strict guidelines required to operate a home for children. The landlord refused to comply with our original agreement and the situation was non-negotiable. In addition, the construction workers became hostile with our dog and disrespectful to some of our boys who defended our pet. We were in dire straits and needed to act fast and find a new living situation immediately.
Our Haitian Director and staff began searching all over the area for an alternative. Unfortunately, many homes which were affordable were located in the city of Jacmel, and our mission is to serve the more rural communities encompassing Cayes Jacmel. Another difficulty they ran into was that rental prices had increased greatly in the last 4 years since we moved into our current house. There was nothing even close to what we were paying and things were looking bleak.
Then a place became available that was much bigger and more expensive but that seemed perfect. We went through all the negotiations and were about to sign a lease when the landlord cancelled the deal on us due to our request of taking the home off the market (it was for sale) and refusing to make any repairs and improvements (even though the house had been sitting vacant for a few years). What at the time seemed like a huge disappointment was actually a blessing in disguise.
Through our friends at Surf Haiti we were given the name of another landlord who also had a home in Cyvadier and was willing to work with us and our terms. To our surprise, this house was much nicer, very well kept and had beautiful grounds and privacy. The kids were thrilled when they saw it and now can experience a more American standard of living. And the best part of it all, which was beyond their wildest dreams…the house has a pool!!
The interesting thing about this crazy story of a landlord building a second floor on a rental house that was already occupied – this was not the first time this happened to us. Our very first house that we rented during the first year of D2Cʼs inception was located behind our recent home and the landlord did the same thing. Apparently this is commonplace in Haiti, but can you imagine this ever happening in the US?
Our D2C family is now happily enjoying their new home which offers so much more space and easy access to swimming at the beach. As the organization grows and our mission expands, we are excited that we can offer an upgraded living environment for our kids and staff. This home will be so much more than just a place to live, and we look forward to what our future holds in this special space!