Safe homes

Funding required: $190,920

Beneficiaries: 15 Compassion-assisted families

Country: Dominican Republic

Executive summary

Many children in the Dominican Republic are growing up in unsafe housing, as the country faces a staggering shortage of more than 1 million livable homes. Nationwide studies, including research from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, estimate that as many as 76 per cent of homes in the Dominican Republic are inadequate for human health and well-being.

Substandard housing is concentrated predominantly in the southwestern zone and Santo Domingo neighbourhoods, where most dwellings are constructed from tejamanil (a mixture of soil and manure) or have been patched together using pieces of wood and empty oil drums. Children bear the brunt of these dire conditions, suffering chronic respiratory illnesses due to poor ventilation, constant exposure to dust and pollutants and heightened vulnerability to infections. Without proper sanitation, hygiene-related illnesses like cholera, diarrhea and parasitic infections are also common and can prove fatal, with babies and young children among the most vulnerable.

Compassion is committed to ensuring that each child we serve has a safe place to call home. Four of our frontline church partners in the Dominican Republic have identified 18 children whose families need immediate aid to improve their living conditions but have been unable to procure any government support. The need is dire. These families are living in makeshift dwellings that lack proper ventilation or protection against the elements. The damp and unhygienic environment is causing children to suffer from chronic illness, impacting their ability to study and complete homework and putting their education at risk. Our partners have highlighted the immediate importance of this need, reporting conditions so severe that children’s lives may be on the line.

This intervention will provide quality construction materials to build and improve toilet facilities and renovate or reconstruct dwellings for 15 vulnerable Compassion-assisted families in Dominican Republic. The improved homes will have sanitation facilities and secure windows, doors, flooring, roofs and walls. The improved houses will keep families safe during inclement weather and will be able to stand up against storms and hurricanes. In these safe and stable conditions, children will be able to complete their homework and have ample space to thrive and grow.


Did you know?

On average, cyclones and hurricanes make landfall in the Dominican Republic every two years but can occur as often as twice per year. Most recently, the nation was battered by Hurricane Fiona on September 20, 2022, leaving at least one person dead and causing widespread severe flooding. The storm would strike Atlantic Canada days later.


Safe shelter is essential to children’s holistic development, impacting every aspect of their lives in a profound way. While Compassion is not a disaster relief organization, we are ready to step in with vital aid wherever it is required to ensure that children have a safe place to call home. The Dominican Republic’s susceptibility to natural disasters like hurricanes and the extreme poverty of the children we are serving highlights the need for constant readiness. When disaster strikes, we are poised to respond.

Past relief efforts in the Santo Domingo region of the Dominican Republic include the rebuilding of homes for 85 Compassion-assisted children and families impacted by tropical storm Noel in October 2007. Compassion Dominican Republic has also provided emergency aid following Tropical Storm Sandy in 2012, Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017 and Tropical Storms Isaias and Laura in 2020. In total, we have been able to provide safe housing for more than 300 families whose homes were damaged or destroyed due to natural disasters. Our partners report that the impact of these efforts has been profound in every respect, touching lives with Christ’s love.

The need

Children’s living conditions directly impact their physical, mental and emotional well-being and ability to reach their potential. In the Dominican Republic, 18 Compassion-assisted children from four churches in the Santo Domingo area are in need of immediate assistance to improve their homes. The severe conditions are impacting children’s health, their ability to study and attend school, and their mental and emotional well-being.

With your support, 15 families, including 18 children, will benefit from home reconstruction. These families have been selected based on their extreme vulnerability and the precarious condition of their current homes. This intervention will ensure that each family receives a safe and comfortable dwelling that includes a fully equipped bathroom and the installation of proper windows, doors, roofs and flooring. We will use sturdy, durable materials that can withstand heavy rain and strong winds, so families can rest easy during storms without fear of their homes collapsing. Caregivers and volunteers from each church will help with labour, keeping costs as low as possible.

Your generosity plays a vital role in Compassion’s disaster relief interventions. Together, we can give these children and their loved ones real hope for the future—and a place they can gladly call home.

What your gift will do

Your gift will provide:

  • Home reconstruction or renovation for 15 families, impacting 18 children:
    • Building materials
    • Transportation
    • Skilled labour


  • Local contribution: US$13,927.58; caregivers will volunteer their labour.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Dominican Republic will distribute funds and ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: Churches will provide regular reporting to Compassion’s National Office in the Dominican Republic, which will include photos of the new homes being constructed and testimonies from benefiting families.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.