Intel Helps Katrina Evacuees

Yesterday, I went to a refugee center in Portland, Ore., where local and state agencies help New Orleans evacuees get settled in Portland. I was very impressed by the assistance that chipmaker Intel has provided to the evacuees.
Olga Kharif

Yesterday, I went to a special refugee center in Portland, Ore., where local agencies and volunteers help evacuees from New Orleans start a new life in Portland. About 250 evacuees have arrived into Portland over the weekend, and they need help with everything from finding housing to searching for a job.

And I've been really impressed with the help that chipmaker Intel, which has plants and research centers near Portland, has provided.

The company has set up a computer lab, equipped with 25 PCs with Wi-Fi connections, in an empty classroom of the Washington-Monroe High School where the refugee center is located. People can use the lab to apply for jobs online, to compile their resumes or simply to write e-mails. They can also make free long-distance calls from that room.

For people who have nothing -- most have brought with them only a handful of personal belongings, some have no I.D.s -- that's huge help.

Most of these people still feel lost and are in shock. They have no phones to contact their loved ones. Many of them have had to travel on a bus to come here for four days, during which time they had no way to get in touch with their relatives and friends. So this small service makes a huge difference.

As far as I could see, Intel was the only company helping local agencies take care of the refugees. Way to go, Intel.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.