In Haiti, a tent can't take the place of a home

VIDEO - Six months later, these so-called temporary shelters found in and around the earthquake's epicenter are looking more and more permanent...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Every night by candlelight, Magdala Bayard and Jackson Charles look at photos of the son they lost in the earthquake. Dudley, or “Leyley” as they used to call him, was just 2 years and 2-months-old when he was crushed in his home. His mother, father and younger sister survived.

“When he died I saw him right next to me,” Bayard told theGrio. “I called his name. But his eyes were swollen and he looked blue and I knew he was dead.”

“He was my friend, my child. I loved him so much,” his father recalled with tears in his eyes.

After that devastating loss, the family decided to leave Port-au-Prince and move to a rural town called Miragoane about 50 miles outside Haiti’s capital – in hopes of finding a better life. But these city folks are finding it hard to adjust to country life.

“There’s nothing here,” Bayard said. “There’s no work; you can’t move around.”

Six months after the earthquake the small family has managed to get by, thanks in large part to a friend who is letting them live in his house. But many who stayed in Port-au-Prince aren’t so lucky. In a tent city in Petionville, just outside Port-au-Prince, many homeless people are dissatisfied.

Anita Andre is the unofficial manager of one camp known as Village of Care – named for the aid group that gave some assistance after the quake.

“Care came and gave us some tents and we were so happy,” Andre recalled from the immediate days after the quake. “We got food. The Red Cross gave us water. But since March, there’s nothing and the people are starving”

Six months later, these so-called temporary shelters found in and around the earthquake’s epicenter are looking more and more permanent. Tents are made of more durable materials and inside you’ll find many of the comforts of home. More than a few have mattresses and even TVs powered by pirated electricity.

“It’s sad that six months after people are stilling under tents,” said Karl Jean-Louis, who works for the group Haiti Aid Watchdog, which aims to follow all the money donated to Haiti after the earthquake.

But house or no house life must go on for the people of Haiti. Many died and many are yet to be born.

Back in Miragoane, Bayard is two months pregnant. She and Charles seem confident they will have a boy who they will name Dudley, to honor the older brother he will never meet.