Haitian Woman: 'All I Have Now' Is A Dress, Grain Bag Most of Port-au-Prince's residents have been displaced from their homes and are in need of help. In the Morne Lazare neighborhood, a lone house stands precariously. Malia Yvette, a middle-aged woman, has survived with little more than an empty grain sack. She's sleeping in a park. And nearly all her family is dead.
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Haitian Woman: 'All I Have Now' Is A Dress, Grain Bag

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Haitian Woman: 'All I Have Now' Is A Dress, Grain Bag

Haitian Woman: 'All I Have Now' Is A Dress, Grain Bag

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LIANE HANSEN, host:

The Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince is full of desperate survivors. Most have been displaced from their homes and are in need of help. NPR's Jason Beaubien has the story of one woman who survived with little more than an empty grain sack.

JASON BEAUBIEN: The neighborhood of Morne Lazare used to cling to a steep hillside in Port-au-Prince, now it's a swath of rubble. Some of it has even tumbled into the roadway below. Towards the top of the hill, a lone house is the only building still standing. Laundry still flies from a clothesline on its roof. The structure leans precariously out over an expanse of pancaked houses, shattered concrete blocks and twisted rebar. Malia Yvette, a middle-aged woman, is slumped dejectedly under a tree.

Ms. MALIA YVETTE: (Foreign language spoken)

BEAUBIEN: Yvette points to the pile of debris in front of her. She says three of her family members are dead inside. If you look over there, another three bodies are trapped. Over there, two, she says. One of her sons is trying to smash and cut through the concrete to get the cadavers out. Yvette used to sell vegetables from a small shop for a living.

Ms. YVETTE: (Foreign language spoken)

BEAUBIEN: Yvette tugs at the tattered green dress she's wearing and says, this is all I have now. This and this grain bag. The grain bag is empty. She says she sleeps in a park along with several of her neighbors.

Morne Lazare is not a rich area, but in Haiti, where more than half the population lives in poverty, it was a solid neighborhood. Most of the residents had jobs and the houses were solidly, if simply, built. Yvette says she'd like to rebuild her home, but she says she has no way to do it. She doesn't have anything - just this dress and a grain bag.

Jason Beaubien, NPR News, Port-au-Prince.

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