This weekend, an AOL article reported that Haitians displaced by flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas were not allowed shelter in a Church meetinghouse in Leogane, Haiti. The fact is that other Church buildings in Haiti were used as public shelters, and arrangements had been made for this particular building to be used by a government agency to respond to the disaster. Because of this arrangement, it was unclear to some whether the building could also be used as a public shelter. Of course the Church would want to shelter all those who sought refuge, as it has done countless other times in scores of nations and places. The Church has a well established reputation for caring for the needy. The report of this event obviously describes an isolated aberration.
The humanitarian response arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints springs into action when disaster strikes to relieve suffering regardless of religious affiliation. For example, in response to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti earlier this year, the Church has sent the equivalent of over 60 truckloads of relief supplies, including 10 air shipments, to the disaster area. The shipments have included a million pounds of food and hundreds of thousands of pounds of other relief supplies. Medical doctors were also flown to the Caribbean nation to give care to the thousands injured in the quake. Thousands more were sheltered in the Church’s meetinghouses for weeks while normalcy was restored.
The Church continues to provide relief aid to Haiti.