CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. — Hundreds of evacuees started arriving at Camp Atterbury last week. Now plans are in motion to find permanent homes and a fresh start for up to 5,000 evacuees.
The evacuees are probably beginning to feel moments of relief after leaving Afghanistan. Now, they are starting to rebuild their lives.
Greg Otolski with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis Refugee and Immigrant Services said it's likely many of the evacuees are struggling with this bittersweet situation.
"No one wants to leave their country, obviously, if they don't have to. When they do, it's always something where they have to leave at a moment's notice. Their city is being attacked. Their village is being attacked. They're under some kind of political violence they're facing. When they leave, it's usually in the spur of the moment, and they come with next to nothing." said Otolski.
Refugee and Immigrant Services and the Immigrant Welcome Center have both resettled thousands of immigrants in Indiana.
"They often need help with English classes, getting help set up with doctors, health care. We provide them with a place to live, so we have to get an apartment. Sometimes navigating the transportation here at the grocery store. We help them find jobs, too," said Otolski.
They don't know yet if their services will be needed. However, they are ready to get to work. But to do that, they need the public's help.
Families need donations of household supplies.
"You can imagine anything you need to establish a house with furniture and linens, things you need in your kitchen for operations," said Otolski.
Gurinder Hohl, the CEO of Immigrant Welcome Center, said most importantly, they need the public's Hoosier hospitality.
"We want them to feel that the community they want to call home has a place for them. There are people here that will help them find the services, the resources that they need," said Hohl.