Dynamist Blog

Texas Refugee Camps

It's not just the Astrodome. Other Texas cities, including Beaumont and Dallas, are turning their sports stadiums and concert venues into refugee camps. Since no one expects the refugees to leave anytime soon, they're also preparing to enroll kids who've fled Katrina in local schools. Here's the Dallas Morning News report:

The first Hurricane Katrina refugees arrived Wednesday afternoon at the newly opened Reunion Arena, wondering about how to educate their kids, how they'll survive without money and when they'll get to go home....

The American Red Cross in Dallas had opened two smaller shelters to house about 400 people, but Reunion will offer a consolidated location with more space. "This way we will be able to provide them a more comfortable place and take good care of them," said Anita Foster, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross.

On Wednesday, the Red Cross was organizing the arena floor into sleeping quarters, a kitchen and dining area. The shelter will provide food, bedding, diapers, baby formula and hygiene products, Foster said....

Foster said it was difficult to predict how many people the agency would serve, but she suspected that many families who were in area motels would be heading to Reunion.

"Essentially the money is going to run out and they're going to come here. They have to because they can't go home," she said....

Texas public schools are opening their doors to Hurricane Katrina refugees. 'We will do everything we can to welcome these students and return some form of stability to the lives of these youngsters,' Commissioner of Education Shirley J. Neeley said.

UPDATE: The DMN has a slideshow here, on refugees in North Texas.

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