For nearly 10 months, more than 1 million people in Haiti's earthquake camps have been walking a precarious line: Trying to get out and find good homes without losing their tents and the possessions they still have.
Now a potential hurricane threatens to upend that careful balance. The Haitian government has called for the voluntary evacuation of all the quake zone's camps ahead of Friday's expected arrival of Tropical Storm Tomas, telling residents to find somewhere else to go.
"People said, 'We've been displaced before. What's going to happen to us? Are we going to be able to get back?'" said Bryant Castro, an American Refugee Committee staffer who is managing the nearly 8,000 people at the Corail-Cesselesse relocation camp.
Survivors of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake have fought forced evictions, weathered storms, organized themselves into security committees, and rallied for better services and aid. Now they are being told to leave - and few have anywhere to go.
The government says there are more than 1,000 shelters available, but the term is loose and can refer to any building expected to stand up to high winds. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said there is a need to identify safe public infrastructure for use as potential storm shelters.