Provide Safe Housing
Build houses. Renew dignity. Uplift communities.

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In developing countries, many poor families have lived without safe shelter for generations. They live in shelters built out of sticks, discarded plastic or metal sheets, and scrap lumber and cardboard, and they have no plumbing or electricity. These homes are not secure from bad weather, vermin or intruders.

Worldwide, 1.2 billion people lack adequate shelter.

Dignified housing is critical to health, well-being and overall transformation. When a family moves out of a broken-down shack and into a safe and sturdy house, they no longer fear storms, and their health and hygiene immediately improve. And in the long term, secure housing has the potential to change the standard of living for generations to come. Relieved of a search for daily shelter, parents can often turn their attention to educating children and pursuing jobs that increase their income and future prospects. That’s why Cross Catholic Outreach empowers Catholic ministries in developing countries that are building or repairing houses for families in need.

Read on to learn more about the importance of safe housing and how you can help shelter the destitute!

Quick Facts

Almost 1 billion people, one-eighth of the world’s population, currently live in slums.

More than two million people are evicted each year, most of them slum dwellers.

Worldwide, about 1.2 billion people currently live in an inadequate shelter.

World Bank, U.N. Habitat Slum Almanac, U.N. Habitat, The Right the Adequate Housing

In Guatemala, Umbelina del Cid and her family used to live in this dilapidated shack.

The Problem

No Safe Place to Call Home

For needy families around the world, safe housing is difficult to afford. The families lack job opportunities and in order to survive, many depend on subsistence farming or day laborer jobs, which don’t provide enough income to improve their circumstances. Sadly, many poor families live in cramped, broken-down shacks — cobbled together with sticks, tarps and a few rusty metal sheets.

When the rain comes, it pours in through holes in the roof, turning the dirt floors to mud and soaking the few possessions inside. Strong winds can collapse entire structures. Living in these unsanitary conditions also leaves families vulnerable to a variety of illnesses and outside intruders or predators.

Most of these families end up in an endless cycle of survival, just trying to make it to the next day. They have little hope that their situation will improve, so they don’t dream about the future. Their difficult living conditions make it nearly impossible to stay healthy, educate their children or better themselves by creating opportunities.

In rural Haiti, a dilapidated shack sits in the shadow of a new home provided by Cross Catholic Outreach and the Kobonal Haiti Mission.

The Answer to the Housing Crisis

The Church

Cross Catholic Outreach partners with priests, nuns and Catholic lay leaders in developing countries to address the need for safe housing. Empowered by our donors’ generosity, these programs are not one-size-fits-all but tailored to meet each community’s specific needs. That could mean building entirely new houses or repairing existing ones.

For example, in the Philippines our partners work to revitalize slums by building safe houses for needy families; but in Ethiopia, we’re partnering with the Daughters of Charity to build an apartment building to house women and children displaced by violent conflict.

No matter the project, the goal is always the same: To share the love of Christ by giving needy families the dignity of safe living conditions. By meeting the basic need for safe housing, families no longer have to focus on daily survival, but they can instead invest their energy in bettering themselves and improving their family’s future. With help from friends like you, we can welcome these families home with the gift of safe shelter.

Cross Catholic Outreach’s safe housing programs are helping to lift poor families out of poverty around the world.

Provide Safe Shelter

With help from supporters like you, Cross Catholic Outreach is able to partner with ministries that are building safe homes for poor families. By building sturdy concrete houses with durable roofs, we give benefiting families hope and a reminder of God’s love and mercy. Your financial contribution will build safe houses and share the hope of Christ with a family in need. Give now and change lives!

Featured Safe Housing Partners

The Kobonal Haiti Mission’s housing program provides safe, sturdy homes to families in need. Mission houses include four rooms; a porch; a sturdy cement foundation; and a waterproof, galvanized steel roof. For families who have long suffered in mud and stick huts, these houses are a welcome source of relief.

FUNDASEP, the outreach arm of the Diocese of San Juan de la Managua in the Dominican Republic, has a successful housing ministry that both builds and repairs houses for families in need. The ministry uses a low-cost durable design that is effective at sheltering poor Dominican families and withstanding powerful storms because they use concrete panels and metal frames.

Kobonal Haiti Mission Housing


The Desier family once crowded together in a small shack made from mud, wood and scraps. The roof leaked, the walls weren’t secure and the dirt floor turned to mud each time it rained. It was a miserable way for Yvonne and Olibert to raise their three growing kids. But thanks to the generosity of Cross Catholic Outreach’s donors, the Desiers now live in a safe Kobonal house!

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FUNDASEP Housing


Yeidi Paula and her son, Francel, lived in a rundown shack with a dirt floor and walls made of splintering wood and rusty tin sheets. Yeidi was born mute and has special needs, but her father prayed that his daughter and grandson would be able to have a proper home someday. Thanks to support from Cross Catholic Outreach donors, she’s the proud owner of a FUNDASEP house.

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Help Build Houses and Hope

A safe place to live renews dignity, strengthens faith and transforms lives for the glory of God. Please help us welcome poor families home!

Your support will help Cross Catholic Outreach ministry partners build safe and sturdy houses for families in need.

How We Help the Poor

Change Even More Lives

Giving monthly is a small way to have a big impact. Your regular support empowers our ministry to respond to urgent needs and fulfill our long-term projects across the world.

Become a monthly donor today and experience the joy of impacting lives every month.

Where does Cross Catholic Outreach provide safe housing?

In the current fiscal year, Cross Catholic Outreach provides safe housing opportunities in Belize, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and the Philippines.

What are poor housing conditions?

In developing countries, poor housing conditions come in a variety of forms. In rural regions, families often live in small huts made of mud and sticks and scrap materials like tarps, cardboard and metal sheets. In urban areas, families who live in poor housing conditions often live in dilapidated slums or displaced people camps. Usually, families don’t have access to plumbing or electricity.

How does poverty affect housing?

Families living in poverty are focused on meeting their most basic needs like food, shelter and water. Even though safe shelter is important, the primary needs for food and water often take priority over having a safe place to live. This means poor families are either homeless, live in cramped quarters with relatives, build their own rudimentary house from discarded materials, or they can’t afford to maintain their house. After years of not being able to afford basic repairs, these houses become hazardous. These conditions affect health, well-being and ability to improve their own circumstances.

How does safe housing relieve poverty?

By meeting the basic need for safe housing, families no longer have to focus on daily survival. Instead, they’re able to invest in bettering themselves through education, entrepreneurship and learning new vocational skills. In other words, safe shelter is the foundation for breaking out of the cycle of poverty!

You Are in Our Prayers

Cross Catholic Outreach’s staff prays daily for friends of the ministry. Click below to submit your specific prayer intentions.

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Cross Catholic Outreach

Our mission is to mobilize the global Catholic Church to transform the poor and their communities materially and spiritually for the glory of Jesus Christ. Your gift empowers us to serve the poorest of the poor by channeling life-changing aid through an international network of dioceses, parishes and Catholic missionaries. This cost-effective approach helps break the cycle of poverty and advance Catholic evangelization.

Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2021, the close of our ministry’s new 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.