Minnesota prepares for up to 3,000 Katrina refugees and 5,000 Hmong refugees
Camp Ripley near Brainerd is preparing to receive 3,000 Hurricane Katrina refugees within the next week. The refugees with be housed in 20 dormitories with 184 beds each. "The goal of Camp Ripley is basically temporary housing," Department of Public Safety spokesman Kevin Smith says. "We would like to move people into their own places or other places as quickly as possible." The influx coincides with the absorption of 5,000 Hmong refugees from Laos which is taking place with the help of a $23 million federal grant. In related news, buses from the Palmer Bus Company in south-central Minnesota passed through Willmar, Olivia, and Stewart recently, acquiring supplies for their trip to New Orleans. They will return with 82 evacuees who will be temporarily housed in the Olivia Armory once they've been processed through Camp Ripley. Local church congregations will take turns providing meals for the evacuees.