NAPLES, Fla.- A Naples roofing contractor is heading to Haiti Saturday, donating his time and supplies to help those still without a home. Haiti lost more than 300,000 people in a deadly earthquake in 2010.
More than a million people were left homeless. Now, almost two years since the quake struck, the country is still trying to get back to normal and Ken Kelly is trying to help speed up the process. "For me, it was an opportunity to give back," says Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing in Naples.
As soon as the earthquake hit Haiti, Kelly knew he could help. A few years ago he and volunteers from all over the United States, started the group Hope Contained.
"I was sitting next to a guy with a fantastic idea. He wanted to take steel shipping containers and recycle them and turn them into homes," says Kelly.
There are six volunteers, each with a different role in building each home. Kelly's job is the roof. "Once I got down to Haiti and I saw the need, that's when it really made me see that there are actually people around the world that have it much worse than we do," says Kelly.
Each trip, they make five new homes in five day and hand pick each family with the help of a local church. Kelly says, "they're very appreciative and they have everything going against them. It's nice to give them a little streak of hope."
Kelly designed the roof system, making sure he uses material that keeps rooms cool and doubles as a place to store water to help families get through the dry season. "To be able to be on the inventive side of things and create something so useful and so needed with the green aspect is so exciting for me," says Kelly.
The group also builds homes in Mexico. Each house costs $5,000 and comes fully furnished. That is possible through private donations.