SHEFFIELD — Global Compassion Network, a new humanitarian relief organization, is teaming up with Sukup Manufacturing Co., Sheffield, to develop and distribute an innovative shelter system with worldwide application potential called the SafeT Home.
In March, Global Compassion Network, which was founded by Iowans Ken De-Young, Terry Baxter and John Howe, was invited to a meeting at Sukup Manufacturing to view a prototype of the first SafeT Home, according to a press release. The home is made out of a modified grain bin.
They met with Eugene, Steve and Charles Sukup as well as Brett Nelson, who was given the green light to design the building system right after the devastating earthquake in Haiti. As a result of the meeting, they are working together to use the system for disaster- and poverty-relief efforts in many countries.
The SafeT Home is based on a highly modified 18-foot Sukup grain bin. The system has a double roof system which functions as a heat shield and water-collection system to collect rainwater for domestic use.
It also has a standard solar panel that powers an LED light. It can withstand 130 mph winds and has near-zero seismic load, making it virtually earthquake-proof. It also includes two windows that can be locked from the inside.
The units can be ordered in 3-foot increments up to 48 feet in diameter.
Fourteen of the standard units can fit in one shipping container and each unit can be assembled in about 10 hours by a team of four people. In just over a week, a team of four can build a housing village for more than 100 people complete with a community kitchen and restroom facilities.
The cost of a standard 18-foot unit is $5,700 and it has a life expectancy of more than 75 years.
The longevity makes SafeT Homes ideal for both emergency shelters and rebuilding housing infrastructure in a disaster-devastated area, according to a Sukup news release.
Global Compassion Network is finalizing purchase of land in Haiti near the city of Les Cayes to build a Village of Hope for displaced families and orphans with the SafeT Home system. Other projects are being planned for Peru and India.
To ensure the structures go where they are needed and aren’t sold on the black market, Global Compassion Network will form a non-government organization in the host country. That means that nearly 100 percent of every dollar given goes directly to the project.
Volunteers will be recruited, given basic training and sent to host countries to assist with site development and assembly.
As a result of recent disasters in the United States, Global Compassion Network is also developing a domestic arm for emergency and disaster relief on the homefront.
Dennis Anderson, Albert City, will be the director of this arm of Global Compassion Network. He has a background with equipment and youth ministry. There will be opportunities to volunteers in the U.S. for those who cannot spare the time for an international trip.
Other Global Compassion Network board members include attorneys Gabe and Carolyn Haugland, Clear Lake, and Tim and Lorie Wittmaack, Linn Grove.
Starting Sept. 1 people can visit www.globalcompassionnet.org for more information.