Some Evacuees Putting Down Roots in Utah

Some Evacuees Putting Down Roots in Utah

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Samantha Hayes ReportingUtah has received hundreds of evacuees with open arms. The state has offered shelter, food, work, and hopefully school. And some of our newest residents say they're in it for the long haul.

Graylond Raymond, Evacuee: "We're gonna start our new life up here. I want my children and grandchildren to start their lives here."

There are people who won’t evacuate New Orleans, but David and Mary Richard say they don’t ever want to go back. Along with about 25 other evacuees, they’ve applied for housing through the state. They want to try to get back on their feet here in Utah.

Their picture book holds years of memories. This year, however, will look quite a bit different for David and Mary Richard. The Richards survived the hurricane in their New Orleans home. After several days, they left everything they knew and boarded a plane without knowing where it would land.

David Richard: “When I got off the plane, I saw the mountains, and then the hospitality of the people when we got off the plane.”

The Richards and other families have been so impressed with the facilities, service and kindness of the people in Utah, that they’ve decided this is the place to stay.

David Richard: “Best plan for the future is to live in Salt Lake City, Utah.”

A new life in a new place, it seems like an overwhelming challenge. But David has overcome much in his life. He competed in the 1996 paralympics, winning three medals.”

David and Mary Richard: “Don’t be afraid of change. Take the change and make a life. This is the beginning of a new life for us.”

They’ll be starting their new life tomorrow, moving into their new apartment tomorrow. They say it’s somewhere near the Delta Center. They say they’re very excited about living here, and excited about cheering for the Jazz again, afterall, the Jazz once played for New Orleans.

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