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Iowa-made structures save lives in Haiti

Iowa-made structures save lives in Haiti

Metal grain bins made by Sukup Mfg., called Safe T Homes are donated and used as homes in Haiti. They stood up to Hurricane Matthew this week. The company is sending more to the island nation.

In the wake of destruction left by Hurricane Matthew this week, Sukup Manufacturing Company and GoServ Global are ready to send 24 additional Safe T Homes to Haiti. Sukup and GoServ Global officials made their joint announcement October 7.

Early reports from GoServ Global indicate that while only 10% of the traditional homes in the area were left standing after the hurricane, all 200 of the Sukup Manufacturing Co. Safe T Homes currently in Haiti withstood the storm with just minimal damage. The people in villages with Safe T Homes were able to use them as shelter to ride out the hurricane.

SURVIVING A HURRICANE: Officials say there has been minimal damage to the Safe T Homes in Haiti, as Hurricane Matthew struck the island nation hard earlier this week. GRAIN BIN HOUSES: More than 200 Iowa-made (Sukup Mfg.) modified grain bins used as homes have been installed on the island nation of Haiti in the last few years, to provid

GoServ Global, a non-profit organization based in Eagle Grove, Iowa, works directly in Haiti. Leaders of the charity say in their John 3:16 Village in Haiti, people in that community “crammed as many people as possible into the Safe T Homes (up to 60 were in one Safe T Home).”

Uniquely designed, Safe T Homes handled powerful hurricane well

The round shape of the Safe T Home allows it to withstand high winds. Windows come with 16-gauge galvanized perforated steel screens and have lockable covers for security. Hurricane Matthew put the strength of the Safe T Home to the test with winds reaching up to 145 mph being categorized as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in recent history.

Iowa-made structures save lives in Haiti

GRAIN BIN HOUSES: More than 200 Iowa-made (Sukup Mfg.) modified grain bins used as homes have been installed on the island nation of Haiti in the last few years, to provide housing.

“The whole idea behind the Safe T Home was to take the same engineering principles we used to help farmers protect their crop from the harsh weather conditions of the Midwest, and apply them to provide safe and secure shelters for people in underdeveloped parts of the world,” says Charles Sukup, president of Sukup Manufacturing Co. “We are very proud of the design of the Safe T Home and how it held up in the worst hurricane to hit Haiti in over 50 years.”

GlobalServe rebuilt some communities in 2010

After the devastating earthquake in 2010 in Haiti, GoServ Global teamed up with Sukup Manufacturing Co. to help provide people with a sturdy and secure structure to call home. “It was a simple decision when our safety director, Brett Nelson, asked me whether he could pursue bin homes for relief efforts,” says Steve Sukup, vice president/chief financial officer at Sukup Manufacturing Co. “Brett asked, ‘What size?!’ I said 18 foot. That has worked out great! We are a family-owned company with family values and feel proud to contribute.”

Iowa-made structures save lives in Haiti

PROTECTION: GlobalServe co-founder Ken DeYoung says “The massive storm earlier this week in Haiti flattened some homes, washed out roads and destroyed livestock and crops. But the Safe T Homes withstood the hurricane and were relatively unscathed.”

In 2013, Sukup Manufacturing once again paired with GoServ Global to raise money to provide 25 Safe T Homes to areas in need of housing. Sukup pledged to match donations one-for-one; for a total of 50 homes. Including the “50 Homes for Humanity” campaign, Sukup Manufacturing has donated more than 75 Safe T Homes.

Donations fund the effort

“Hundreds of Iowans and many others around the country have provided funding for Safe T Homes through churches, Christmas presents and more,” says Emily Schmitt, corporate counsel, a third-generation Sukup family member. “In this day and age where you usually have to dig through financial disclosures to see where your charitable contributions are going, it is refreshing to know that our Safe T Homes and GoServ Global are truly saving lives. It only encourages us to further expand our efforts, and next time we hope it can save even more.”

Iowa-made structures save lives in Haiti

FIERCE WINDS: Referring to the hurricane destruction in Haiti this week, GoServ Global co-founder Ken DeYoung says “140 mph winds were a tough test but we are really pleased with how well the Safe T Homes stood and survived the destruction.”

Before the storm even ended, Sukup Manufacturing Co. plant manager Jon Swanson scheduled additional Safe T Homes to be produced. On a normal day Sukup Manufacturing strives to have on hand 11 Safe T Homes ready to help in disaster circumstances. They have increased that number to 24 for this week and once logistics permit, Sukup will be ready to ship at a moment’s notice.

What can you do to help people in Haiti hit by hurricane?

In an interview with KCCI Des Moines, Ken DeYoung, co-founder of GoServ Global said, "Those kids - their families - are no different than mine, and to walk away from them in 2010 was impossible. Now I know a lot of those kids better. We can't abandon them."

To learn more about how you can help or contribute to the relief in Haiti of Hurricane Matthew, visit

Source: Sukup Mfg.

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