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LDS ward building now home for 600 displaced Haitians

A momentary calm fell over the Petion-ville Ward Chapel grounds as homeless Haitians raised their voices in song and prayer to close another day.

Strains of "Where Can I Turn for Peace" in French filled the cloudy night sky followed by Stevenson Laurent's heartfelt petition in Creole to awake to the sunshine of a new morning.

The nightly devotional calms the restlessness of what amounts to a village that sprung up around the church after the Jan. 12 earthquake. Petion-ville was one of the hardest-hit areas in the country. About 600 tent cities or makeshift communities are sprinkled throughout the region. About 1 million Haitians, or 1 in 9, were displaced by the earthquake.

Petion-ville Ward Bishop Harry Mardy estimates 600 people — some members of ?lise De Jesus-Christ Des Saints Des Derniers Jours, some not — call the the meetinghouse grounds home for now. He said his biggest need at the moment is a larger bathroom.

People drifted to sleep Wednesday night in tents, under palm trees and on the concrete courtyard. Mattresses covered nearly every inch of open space, causing anyone moving about to tiptoe.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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