El Paso County’s disaster assistance center aims to connect evacuees with goods and services available. It served more than 200 households Thursday, its first day of operations. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin found, it was crowded Friday with workers, volunteers and displaced families.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Terry Rosental came to contact her insurance company, one of many set up in mobile offices in the center’s parking lot.

“I’m at a loss, of, you know … I didn’t have time to grab everything I needed. I just lost my husband last month so my paperwork was scattered.”

Her house in Black Forest is on the list of homes destroyed, and she was headed inside to find out how the assistance center could help her.

County officials say the needs are varied, but so far there’s been heavy demand for the essentials: food, clothing, shelter — and shelter for animals. County Commissioner Peggy Littleton says housing is tight because some families who lost their homes in last year’s Waldo Canyon fire are still in interim housing. Realtors and apartment finders are at the center to help out. Littleton says evacuees can also get short-term financial help to defray the cost of hotel rooms.

“I think some of the saddest thing has been for me is people who come in here who’ve lost their homes during Waldo Canyon, moved to Black Forest, and now lost their house in Black Forest. That has been really tragic, and we’ve had probably five or six of those families.”

Last year’s disaster, though, has helped improve service to this year’s victims. Littleton says they had a good idea what the needs would be and they were able to open the doors in 39 hours, barely more than half the time it took a year ago.


The assistance center is on Garden of the Gods Road, in the County’s Citizen Service Center. It’s open every day, 8 to 6.

 

Comments are closed.

News

AP
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Citing recent progress and the Easter holiday, Ukrainian officials say they’ve suspended an “anti-terrorist operation” aimed at pro-Russian forces who have occupied government buildings.
 

AP
April 19, 2014 | NPR · The captain of the 6,852-ton ferry has been criticized for allowing 30 minutes to pass before giving an evacuation order. He has been arrested, even as a recovery effort continues.
 

April 19, 2014 | NPR · Twelve sherpas died in a recent avalanche on Mount Everest. Climber Conrad Anker explains that the guides were helping prepare a route for hundreds of climbers expected for the coming summer season.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Riverhead Books
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Lisa Robinson knows how to talk — and how to make others, especially musicians, want to talk. The veteran rock journalist speaks with NPR’s Wade Goodwyn about her four decades behind the scenes.
 

April 19, 2014 | NPR · Monday marks the 25th anniversary of Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything. A look back at the seminal teen flick reveals a surprisingly deep and romantic story.
 

Polk and Co.
April 19, 2014 | NPR · “All of us have chased the American dream so there’s something very universal about it,” the Irish actor says. O’Dowd and James Franco star in a new Broadway production of Steinbeck’s novella.
 

Music

NPR
April 19, 2014 | NPR · A young Pakistani musician treats the guitar as a percussion instrument — with surprisingly shimmering results. He also performs a piano piece he wrote at just 16.
 

Courtesy of Riverhead Books
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Lisa Robinson knows how to talk — and how to make others, especially musicians, want to talk. The veteran rock journalist speaks with NPR’s Wade Goodwyn about her four decades behind the scenes.
 

NPR
April 19, 2014 | NPR · Wainwright creates music that is theatrical, emotional and operatic. He stopped by NPR’s studios to perform a few of his hits.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab