Havre Daily News
Julianne LaSmith decided she couldn't just sit around watching the devastation from Hurricane Katrina on the TV. Instead she sprang into action and helped organize an emergency town meeting, to be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in the community center of the Holiday Village Shopping Center.
She wants Havre to offer to house and employ people made homeless by the deadly hurricane. She thinks people here are ready to offer a lot.
"Red Cross can't take your couch or old winter coat. That's what we are trying to do," said LaSmith, the marketing director for Holiday Village.
By Tuesday afternoon, LaSmith had called all of the churches in the phone book up to the letter "I" to inform them of the meeting and efforts. She said she wishes all the churches in town would take in a family.
LaSmith was inspired by her family's sponsorship of a Vietnamese family when she was young. She isn't able to open her home to hurricane victims but wants to do all she can to help.
Though she hasn't talked to any individuals stricken by Katrina, LaSmith said, she hopes to get refugees up here within a week. She said she's mainly attempting to get families to come to Havre and hopes to help six different households.
"I am not sure if they will be single-parent households or nuclear families," LaSmith said.
She said she thinks it will be possible to get military transport for families to travel to Montana.
Organizers are looking for anyone who can help in any way. For more information, people can call the mall office at 265-2533.