Houses for Hurricane Victims

Feb. 1, 2006
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (Santa Ana, Calif.), which is pre-building (framing) homes in California for use by hurricane victims in the Gulf

Habitat for Humanity of Orange County (Santa Ana, Calif.), which is pre-building (framing) homes in California for use by hurricane victims in the Gulf region, said Pacer International, Inc. a North America logistics and freight transportation provider, has agreed to provide delivery of as many as 15 to 18 pre-built housing units for displaced families.

The donation to Habitat's "Operation Home Delivery" program, valued at more than $18,000, will facilitate the efficient and on-time delivery of homes for final assembly and construction both in Dallas, where many refugees will settle permanently, and also in Louisiana.

"This donation of logistics and transportation services from Pacer allows us to invest in more lumber to build additional homes," said Charlie Walker, director of Operation Home Delivery for Habitat in Orange County. "Our goal is to aid and assist the victims of the hurricanes to rebuild their lives and communities through decent, affordable housing."

"Although Habitat is a very special customer, and the shipments themselves may be a bit unusual, our commitment -- as with any customer -- will be to move the freight on a customized, reliable basis to precisely where it is needed," said Peter Mettra, executive vice president for marketing and transportation purchasing at Pacer Stacktrain, a division of Pacer that provides intermodal equipment and arranges intermodal rail transportation.

"In this case, we'll be picking up and containerizing framed houses from a Southern California sports stadium, where volunteers are building them; and some of the houses will be delivered directly to actual building sites in the Gulf Region. In the truest sense, these will be 'door-to-door' deliveries."

Pacer expects to accommodate three framed houses in a single 53-foot shipping container, and shipments to Dallas or Louisiana will be staggered to conform to the availability of the houses -- which are being built in California locations by Habitat's volunteers.

Mettra added that multiple Pacer operating units will combine strengths to meet the needs of the humanitarian project, just as they do to develop end-to-end logistical solutions for commercial customers. He said Pacer Global Logistics, the company's logistics arm, is providing the planning and management; Pacer Stacktrain is providing the containers and the long-haul rail transportation; and Pacer Cartage, the local trucking unit, is providing the door-step pickups and deliveries at both ends.

Mettra noted that the company's decision to participate in the Habitat program was largely inspired by the generosity of Pacer International's employees, who last year, together with the company, contributed more than $68,000 to the Red Cross for hurricane relief.

"Habitat's home-building program represents an innovative and truly humanitarian approach to the next phase of rebuilding the lives of those whose homes were destroyed, and it is rewarding to see how the donated corporate services of a single company can make a real difference."

He added that Pacer employees will be given opportunities to volunteer to help build the housing frames or prepare them for shipment.

"Through the kindness of organizations like Pacer International, we are on the road to changing the lives of many families who have been affected," stated Habitat's Charlie Walker.

Operation Home Delivery is a three-phase response to help provide assistance for families and rebuilding opportunities in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes. Some homes are "pre-built" locally and shipped to the impacted areas in containers as part of the "Home in a Box" program.

Other homes will be built on site from the ground up with trips organized for volunteers to travel to the regions affected to facilitate the construction of new homes for families impacted by the hurricane disasters. For more information about Operation Home Delivery, please contact Charlie Walker at [email protected] or call 714-434-6200 extension 215.

Source: Habitat for Humanity of Orange County