It’s less than a week ’til Christmas, and all Iowa’s newest residents want is a place to live. A group of about 30 refugees arrived unexpectedly last week in central Iowa with more due to arrive by Wednesday. A non-profit agency that helps get the refugees settled here is having to jump into overdrive.Erica Harris is with the Lutheran/Catholic Social Service Refugee Cooperative Ministry. She says there’s usually a little warning before a new group is brought to Iowa, but these refugees caught the ministry off guard. Harris says refugees sometimes arrive with little more than what they’re wearing.In addition to mattresses, Harris says the ministry could use a variety of household items, including: tables, chairs, dressers, desks, phones, tape players and other items to set up a new home. While challenging due to the many language barriers, Harris says she’s in a rewarding job.Members of this latest batch of refugees to arrive in Des Moines are from: Bosnia, Sudan and Afghanistan. To help, you can call (515) 277-5131 or look for their local chapter of the Lutheran or Catholic Social Service agency.
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