SEPTEMBER 16, 2005 - Posted at 3:08 p.m. CDT
JACKSON, MO - At least two dozen New Orleans families are beginning their lives over again in southeast Missouri, following Hurricane Katrina.
The former New Orleans residents are making their decisions after evacuation buses randomly brought them more than 500 miles from their homes to a temporary shelter in Kennett.
Mercedes Thornton and her family say they are being treated so well, they want to remain in the region. They are currently staying in a donated apartment owned by the First Baptist Church in Jackson.
Of the eight family members, three of the children are enrolled in school, two of the adults are continuing their education and one already has a job.
Many churches in southeast Missouri are teaming up to adopt refugee families.