SHEFFIELD — A partnership between Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield, and the Haiti Relief Fund will put 16 homeless Haitian families in new, all-steel homes.
More than a year of work later, Sukup, known for its grain storage equipment, turned a grain bin into a home.
Recently, the owners of Sukup met with the president and founder of the Haiti Relief Fund, Carlos Thertus, to discuss how these unique homes will make their way to the families who need them most.
Thertus began the Haiti Relief Fund in 2004 after Hurricane Jeanne but said the earthquake last year was much worse.
“It felt like everything we had done up to that point was nothing,” he said. “After the earthquake, it was crazy.”
His organization has supplied food, clothing and even medical equipment to the people of Haiti. The Haiti Relief Fund dispatches to 10 cities in Haiti and keeps its focus on health care.
“The donation from Sukup is a key to Haiti’s needs,” Thertus said. “The homes are expandable, keep out heat and bugs, and are safer during the hurricane season.”
Sukup employee Brett Nelson, who has always dreamed of a bin house, came up with the idea and contacted Thertus.
Brad Poppen, an ag tech at Sukup, transformed a Sukup grain bin into a Safe-T-Home. The Safe-T-Home has a specially designed roof to keep out heat and create airflow through the bin at all times. The all-steel construction keeps out bugs (especially termites) that are a constant problem.
“It’s great to use our expertise to design a home like this,” said Steve Sukup, CFO and vice present of Sukup Manufacturing. “Being a part of a family owned business, it feels good to provide a safe home to families who have been through so much and are in need.”
The homes will be sent to Haiti in early April. All tools and equipment needed to build the Safe-T-Home will be supplied and it should take less than two days to erect each complete home.
— By Laura Bird