Vega Alta is one of the many communities of Puerto Rico that was hit hard by Hurricane Maria. Puerto Rico was struggling on an economic level long before this storm hit, and since this disaster the situation is even worse. One Collective is excited to join with others in short-term efforts to help this community respond to devastation, and more importantly in long-term service to the community long after aid organizations have left.
A key foundation of our strategy is leadership and coordination. We are looking for passionate Jesus followers who want to engage in community transformation, identify needs in every aspect of life, and bring people together to see those needs met. We call these leaders Catalysts, and if you feel you have the qualities described above and are interested in this role, we would love to hear from you.
Partnering with Carlos Rodriguez and Happy Sonship, as well as other local partners, One Collective is helping to provide short and long term solutions. Current rebuilding efforts are focused on assisting with the greatest needs in under-resourced communities - primarily liveable housing. Our efforts have primarily focused on recovery needs in response to past hurricanes and (more recently) earthquakes. The recurrence of these natural disasters have required a reassessment of what is most needed for long-term resilience and transformation. Typical wooden construction cannot withstand future hurricanes, and concrete homes have crumbled from the earthquakes. So what affordable housing can be used that can withstand both types of disasters?
Metal shipping container homes!
Following the lead of Carlos and Happy Sonship, we are now pursuing an ambitious plan to repurpose shipping containers into attractive, durable homes for those in greatest need. In partnership with the municipal government, a trade school has been launched to build these container homes and train trades workers in the process. Equipping locals with job skills will change the future of their family and empower rebuilding efforts across the island.
A more significant goal is to bring local government leaders, churches, and residents together to change the systemic problems that have historically kept this community vulnerable. Long-term transformation requires persistent, ongoing efforts customized to target communities. The impact can be accelerated by carefully deploying new One Collective staff to work alongside locals in strategic areas like Vega Alta. We want to enable community members to join forces and see their community restored and transformed.
If you are interested in joining this movement, or you would like to invest resources to see this community transformed, please use the links below.