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Mission to resettle Afghan evacuees nearly complete

5,700 of the 7,200 Afghan evacuees who fled Afghanistan when the Taliban took over this summer have been resettled into new homes.

CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — Indiana's historic mission to resettle evacuees from Afghanistan is nearly complete.

Leaders at Camp Atterbury said less than a quarter of the guests who came here in September are still on base. 13News is also getting new numbers to quantify the compassion from Hoosiers helping them.

Operation Allies Welcome is in the waning weeks at Camp Atterbury.

As of Dec. 29, 5,700 of the 7,200 Afghan evacuees who fled Afghanistan when the Taliban took over this summer have now been resettled into new homes, according to Maj. Jennifer Pendleton, public affairs officer at Camp Atterbury.

There are 450 Afghans already living in Indiana, with a total of 600 projected to become new Hoosiers.

Last month at a news conference, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said he expected resettlement to be complete by the end of December.

Military leaders said weather and the holidays could push that back. It'll be close.

With a few days until the new year, 1,500 Afghans remain on the base in Johnson County.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2013, file photo, new barracks and a mess hall are under construction at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, Ind. More than 6,600 Afghan refugees who began arriving at the Indiana National Guard's Camp Atterbury training post nearly six weeks ago are awaiting resettlement. (Caitlin O'Hara/The Daily Journal via AP, File)

Leaders at Camp Atterbury say everyone will be resettled by the end of January.

The evacuees and their families are building new lives through a long-term, four-phase transition that includes housing, health care, jobs and schools.

Part of the effort to help them came from giving Hoosiers. Since September, Pendleton said people in Indiana have donated 2 million items.

Those items came into armories, through the Indiana National Guard and through Team Rubicon, working humanitarian relief with the Department of Defense.

The National Guard donation drive ended earlier this month.

Team Rubicon said its Johnson County warehouse will continue to distribute items through next month.

The generosity nationwide to help our new neighbors at all eight safe havens has been nothing short of impressive.

Pendleton said there were more than $47.7 million in donations across the country, with 9 million items distributed.

It's all to make sure Afghans, who fled chaos, experience a positive start to their new lives in the U.S.

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