One year after earthquake, Wentzville man with ties to Haiti fru -

One year after earthquake, Wentzville man with ties to Haiti frustrated with slow rebuilding process

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV) – Just four months after the earthquake in Haiti, enough money had been donated to give every homeless family in Haiti $37,000. And some of those people doing aid work in Haiti are frustrated that life has improved little for the earthquake victims.

Steve Smith, a local man with Haitian Island Ministries, was there during the earthquake and says pictures don’t capture the devastation.

Smith’s Wentzville-based aid organization is doing its part to help. Faith-based Haitian Island Ministries runs five schools, a medical clinic and serves 250,000 meals a year in Haiti. But Smith says he’s frustrated by the overall lack of progress in Haiti.

"With the money that came in from the United States, Canada and the European Union and all the countries of the world, it shouldn't be this way, it shouldn't be this day," says Smith.

St. Louis as a community donated $3 million to the Red Cross. With such large financial donations pouring in from all over, many want to know why there hasn't been more progress.

The Red Cross says it plans to spend up to $150 million on permanent housing, ultimately using donations not just to feed the homeless, but to get them back on their feet so they can take care of themselves.

Everything’s been slowed by a lack of Haitian government leadership and no records to prove land ownership, which has stalled efforts to remove rubble to prepare for rebuilding.

The Red Cross says it’s trying to spend money wisely so there will be something to show for all the donations years from now.

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