Officials, who say they will begin moving people out of danger in the canyon this weekend, give many reasons why the effort to relocate people is only starting. They cite the immensity of the task, and the difficulties of coordinating among hundreds of aid groups and a government that lost nearly all of its institutions.
"It's like starting from minus zero," said George Ola-Davies, a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping mission.
Relocation is also difficult culturally. Haitians rely on their communities to survive. They borrow money from neighbors, share food, watch one another's children, sell things they pick up in the central markets.
The camp where residents of the Petionville Club are being moved is on a dust-blown, desolate slope far from the city, where people will be wholly reliant on aid.
Brizard Brigarde, 59, plans to hold out on the golf course. His family of six lives with four other families in a cluster of sweltering rooms made of orange tarps that cast an almost hellish glow.