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

AFP/Getty Images
February 1, 2015 | NPR · Russian-backed rebels are shelling a strategic rail hub in the Donetsk region a day after cease-fire discussions fell apart.
 

Fox TV
February 1, 2015 | NPR · Fox’s hip-hop drama is a growing hit that could rescue the network. In a fragmented marketplace, the TV industry is learning the value of creating shows for under-served audiences.
 

AP
February 1, 2015 | NPR · This week, the Fountain, Colo., Fire Department repurposed some firefighting tools for a chillier job: Rescuing cows that had fallen through a half-foot of ice into the freezing water of a local pond.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
February 1, 2015 | NPR · Before he became Fox Mulder, Duchovny was working on his Ph.D. in literature at Yale. He was going to be a poet — or maybe a novelist — or maybe a playwright …
 

Fox TV
February 1, 2015 | NPR · Fox’s hip-hop drama is a growing hit that could rescue the network. In a fragmented marketplace, the TV industry is learning the value of creating shows for under-served audiences.
 

February 1, 2015 | NPR · In The Age of Dignity, Ai-jen Poo says rather than viewing aging from a place of scarcity and fear, we should see getting older as an opportunity. And, she writes, we must fix our flawed care system.
 

Music

February 1, 2015 | NPR · Singer Sly Stone has been awarded $5 million in damages and lost royalties. He claimed his manager and lawyer didn’t pay him royalties between 1989 and 2000.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 1, 2015 | NPR · Nick Carter and A.J. McLean discuss how life has changed for themselves and their bandmates in 20 years of making music together.
 

Courtesy of the artist
February 1, 2015 | NPR · The orchestral seven-piece hails from a sprawling Canadian island not known for its indie rock. Rachel Martin speaks with singer Tim Baker about how the band has nonetheless made a name for itself.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab