New SHARE Nelson manager Corinne McFadden will accept bottles for the Haiti project at the Lakeside Drive location until February.

New SHARE Nelson manager Corinne McFadden will accept bottles for the Haiti project at the Lakeside Drive location until February.

Nelson group turns recyclables into homes

Kootenay Christian Fellowship is hoping to turn your empty bottles into homes.

Kootenay Christian Fellowship is hoping to turn your empty bottles into homes.

The Nelson church has launched an extended bottle drive to raise $6,000 by February to help build a house in Haiti as part of ongoing reconstruction efforts following the 2010 earthquake there.

Pastor Jim Reimer says they’re inviting people to drop off empty bottles for sorting at SHARE Nelson — something many already do — to be put towards the cause.

For the last few years, Kootenay Christian Fellowship has been participating in the EACHone BUILDone project, which aims to provide permanent earthquake-resistant housing to Haitians. The cement-block structures range in price from $5,600 to $6,600, but are an average of $6,000. About 35 have been built so far.

“Originally we were building one style of house, but we’ve found different families have different needs,” Reimer said.

In order to qualify, families need to provide land and labour.

“If a person wants a house, they have to help build one for someone else and their own house as well,” Reimer said, adding the homes are “almost middle class” by North American standards.

“We don’t want to build something that’s not going to be usable in five or 10 years. A lot of NGOs build temporary shelters. We feel this is a slower process, but you’ve got something permanent.”

Reimer said they are also considering building homes for people who don’t have any  land, or have been left homeless due to land dispute.

A team of 12 from Nelson will head to Grand-Goave early next year. Reimer said while they want Haitians to do the building themselves, they will inspect the work and provide accountability for those who have donated to the project.

“We will be doing physical things, but it won’t be technically building the houses,” he said.

In addition, Reimer said they’ll be involved with clinic work and a children’s village for orphans, consisting of duplexes and fourplexes where couples will adopt and raise three or four kids each.

The team has not been finalized and Reimer said he’d like to hear from tradespeople interested in helping finish a technical school being rebuilt.

Pop and beer bottles and cans can be dropped off at SHARE Nelson, 612 Lakeside Drive.