Evanston Residents Take Action for Haiti

One year after quake, roughly a million people remain homeless

By Courtney O'Callaghan and Christian Farr
|  Wednesday, Jan 12, 2011  |  Updated 10:15 PM CDT
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Dramatic Photos: Earthquake Aftermath in Haiti

The Chicago Fire Department donated ambulances to assist with the earthquake cleanup in Haiti.

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Wednesday marks a full year since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and a strong Haitian community in the Chicago-area is working hard to provide a bit of aid the Caribbean country so desperately needs.

"These people have been living under temporary shelter. They've had to undergone the rainy season, the hurricane season and their lives have no been improved in a qualitative way," said Jean Baptiste, the vice chair with the Haitian Congress, which for years has worked on helping improve the county.

While Baptiste believes a lot has been done since the quake, he believes aid needs to move more quickly in order to get the one million people still homeless off the streets.

The lack of quality life in Haiti has kept Evanston resident Ducanor Cadet and his wife Marie from visiting their native country and usual summer destination.

The couple was visiting their summer home when the earthquake toppled their house, forcing them to live on the streets for five days. A year later, they have not been back to Haiti and are still rebuilding their home.  It's a situation many are still facing.

"It's sad what they've lost. Nothing is fixed up there yet," said Marie Cadet.

The Cadet’s children are also making an effort to the cause. Their son went on an aide mission to bring donated Chicago firefighter ambulances to Haiti.  It's a trip he plans to make again.

"I see it as like a responsibility as an American just to go back and try and help out," said Stanley Cadet.

A vigil for the victims of the earthquake was held Wednesday night at the Haitian Congress in Evanston. A much larger event is planned for Saturday at the Dusable Museum of African American History from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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