A mother and her three children stand in front of a new concrete house.
In Guatemala, your support helped Caritas in the Diocese of Santa Rosa de Lima build safe, concrete homes for families living in crumbling shacks. Homes include a solid cement floor, a waterproof roof, lockable doors and windows, a latrine, a washbasin and a clean-air stove.

How Catholics Are Sharing Safe Shelter With the Poor

In developing countries around the world, many poor families live in conditions that most Americans can’t begin to imagine. Their homes are made from mud-and-sticks or are thatched-roof shacks made from scraps found at the local garbage dump.

But thanks to Cross Catholic Outreach’s supporters, poor families have been welcomed into safe homes around the world!

Safe shelter gives families a place to improve relationships, share meals, make memories and pass down their faith to their children. These houses also gave our Catholic ministry partners the opportunity to share the transforming power for God’s love to those in greatest need. It was a gift of hope and healing, and it brought blessed relief to families who have been struggling to escape poverty for generations.

A family of seven stands on the porch of their home built by the Kobonal Haiti Mission.
The Kobonal Haiti Mission builds safe homes for families living in dilapidated shacks.

How You Help Cross Catholic Outreach Provide Safe Shelter

When you help Cross Catholic Outreach provide safe shelter, you do more than fund construction. Here are a few of the ways our ministry partners are making an impact through safe housing around the world:

  • New home construction: Our ministry partners build homes for individual families in countries such as Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and the Philippines.
  • Home repairs: The poor are often able to make critical home repairs that keep their homes livable. Cross Catholic Outreach supports repair programs in Belize, Ethiopia, Grenada and Haiti.
  • A shelter for vulnerable women: In Guatemala, our supporters provide a safe haven for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
  • A young women’s dormitory: Poor college students in Guyana have a safe place to live while they complete their education.
  • Safe kitchens: Poor families are provided with clean-air kitchens for families suffering from smoke inhalation in Nicaragua.

Provide Safe Housing Around the World

Providing Safe Shelter in the Philippines

Answering the Cry of the Poor (ANCOP) is the humanitarian arm of Couples for Christ is devoted to “bringing Christ’s transforming love to the poor.” ANCOP replaces dilapidated shanties with rows of safe, concrete houses. These improved neighborhoods not only increase residents’ stability and peace of mind, but also instill a renewed sense of motivation and self-worth within their hearts.

Benefiting families participate in a 12-week Christian Life Program to strengthen their faith and establish a community built on Catholic values. They also contribute by investing time and unskilled labor throughout the construction process.

Blue row homes built by ANCOP.
ANCOP transforms entire neighborhoods with safe rows of concrete houses.

A New House Changes a Family’s Life

One of the families who received a home through ANCOP’s ministry was Emman Arimado’s. He works long days to provide for his wife and sons, but his income as a day laborer has never been high enough to improve his family’s living conditions.

“I really strive to ensure we have food and other basic needs, but having a sturdier house is something we can only dream of,” he told us.

The family used to live in treacherous conditions, and his wife and baby were always sick.

“Our house was made of bamboo and native material, and during rainy days rainwater seeps in,” Emman said. “We had to evacuate our house and seek shelter and protection in community centers or in the houses of my relatives in times of storms and typhoons. But we have no recourse but to stay in our house despite the many discomforts.”

Because of the compassion of Cross Catholic Outreach’s donors, Emman’s family recently moved into a beautiful, sturdy home.

“The new house is a sturdier, better and more comfortable place to live. And the prayer assemblies and fellowship with co-recipients and the love and nurturing of leaders made us grateful and closer to God,” said Emman, referring to ANCOP’s robust spiritual formation program.

Because of this gift of safe housing, his family won’t have to worry about inclement weather or outside predators. Emman and his wife are grateful they have a safe place to raise their children, giving them peace of mind.

“We are so happy to be living in a house that is sturdier, more comfortable and we can call our own,” Emman said. “The new house inspired all of us to strive forward and face life’s challenges with faith and optimism.”

Emman recognizes the impact of receiving both safe shelter and having his family’s faith strengthened through the support of the Catholic community that surrounds him.

“We are grateful to the Lord and we commit ourselves to become responsible members of the Homeowner’s Association,” he said. “We willingly help in keeping the physical maintenance of the community and in following all rules and regulations.”

Emman is looking forward to the future and watching his children grow up in a community built on the truth of the Gospel.

A home made of bamboo and boards covered by a thatched roof.
In the Philippines, many poor families live in unsafe housing conditions like this one.

The Blessing of Safe Shelter

A safe home can impact a family in countless ways. It is a place of security. It offers stability and restores God-given dignity in a way few charitable gifts can. It provides families with a strong foundation to build a better life. Around the world, men, women and children who had been struggling to survive have been welcomed into safe homes thanks to the kindness of compassionate Catholic donors. These families have a refuge from the outside world and can work toward providing their children with a bright future.

A sturdy and reliable home represents a tangible sign of Lord’s love and provision — an incredible blessing to people of faith. God bless you for helping our Catholic ministry partners proclaim the Lord’s mercy and love to impoverished families in their hour of need. Thanks to the kindness of Catholic donors, the gift of safe shelter will benefit the poor for generations to come!

Related: How Safe Housing Creates Opportunities for Poor Haitian Families

Donations from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures for this project incurred through June 30, 2025, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.