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
March 30, 2015 | NPR · Three weeks after Hillary Clinton’s widely covered news conference about her use of private emails as secretary of state, polls continue to show her ahead of Republicans in the 2016 presidential race.
 

March 30, 2015 | NPR · Police say a crime is “cleared” when they make an arrest or identify a suspect. Clearance rates vary widely by city, but you can use our tool to look up how the police are faring where you live.
 

Alexandra Starr
March 30, 2015 | NPR · The neighborhood in Queens has become a kind of urban United Nations, with people from 100 countries living there. The more diverse, the better its residents get along.
 

Arts & Life

March 29, 2015 | NPR · During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu’s great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
 

Showtime
March 29, 2015 | NPR · The Bronx native grew up in a blue-collar household; a life in show business seemed far from reality. He spent time in the Air Force and as a cop before he finally gave his childhood dream a chance.
 

March 29, 2015 | KVCR · Palm Springs was the desert playground of golden-era Hollywood. Then its glamour faded. Now its midcentury architecture, its retro style and the allure of its past are fueling a rebirth.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
March 29, 2015 | NPR · The singer-songwriter reconvenes with her longtime co-writer and producer, Richard Swift, to craft 11 seductively seclusive pop songs about motherhood, exile, insecurity and devotion.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 29, 2015 | NPR · On its second album, the British rock duo moves smoothly from tantrum to anthem, crafting songs with singalong hooks and buckets of sweaty, cathartic rage.
 

Courtesy of the artist
March 29, 2015 | NPR · Writing a breakup album is one thing. Writing a breakup album with your ex is another. A stunning hard-rock record, Crooked Doors grapples with what it means to live with your own history.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab