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Catholic Services Moves Refugees

October 12, 2000

ATLANTA (AP) _ Refugees who were placed in roach-infested, crime-ridden apartments were to move out of hotels and into new homes.

Catholic Social Services earlier this month evacuated 56 refugees from the Crescent Hills complex because of unhealthy and dirty living conditions and placed them temporarily in a hotel.

CSS moved one family last week and on Thursday four to six of the seven remaining families were expected to move into apartments. The refugees are from several African countries, Bosnia, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

``We’ve got a mess here, and we’ve got to figure out how to deal with the problem,″ said Jim Kantner, head of Catholic Charities which oversees CSS.

The squalor at Crescent Hills came to light earlier this month. Refugees said they had pleaded for help from CSS social workers but received nothing but broken promises.

Since the archdiocese learned about the squalid conditions, two Catholic Social Services officials have resigned, and the archdiocese has launched an investigation into its refugee resettlement program.

The State Department, which provides funding for the resettlement program through the Washington-based U.S. Catholic Conference, also is investigating.

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On the Net:

Catholic Social Services: http://www.cssatlanta.com

Catholic Charities: http://www.archatl.com/of-cc.htm

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