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

NPR
August 26, 2016 | NPR · GOP Sen. Pat Toomey and his Democratic opponent Katie McGinty are battling it out in the Philadelphia area suburbs.
 

NPR
August 26, 2016 | NPR · A remote mountain village once was home to hundreds. Now it has just 30 residents. Tskukimi Ayano, 67, is one of the younger ones. She has repopulated the village by making scarecrow-like figures.
 

Courtesy of Planned Parenthood
August 26, 2016 | NPR · The organization is going door to door in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. The goal: Reach 25,000 households in six weeks with information about Zika prevention and family planning services.
 

Arts & Life

NPR
August 26, 2016 | NPR · A remote mountain village once was home to hundreds. Now it has just 30 residents. Tskukimi Ayano, 67, is one of the younger ones. She has repopulated the village by making scarecrow-like figures.
 

Falco Ink.
August 26, 2016 | NPR · First hired in the 1950s, Floyd Norman is still drawing. “Creative people don’t hang it up,” he says. “We don’t walk away, we don’t want to sit in a lawn chair. … We want to continue to work. “
 

The Weinstein Company
August 25, 2016 | NPR · A strong performance by Édgar Ramírez as the Panamanian boxer can’t save a film that suffers from a lack of focus and thin characterization.
 

Music

Courtesy of China National Symphony Orchecstra
August 25, 2016 | NPR · The composer’s music and life story are deeply woven into China’s cultural, social and political fabric, inspiring revolution and providing comfort.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 25, 2016 | WXPN · Beat Latino‘s Catalina Maria Johnson discusses the music of the Chicano Power movement of the 1960s.
 

August 25, 2016 | FA · As one of the very first bebop tenor saxophonists, Teddy Edwards mixed awesome technique with irresistibly slinky phrases. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews two reissues, Inimitable and Feelin’s.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab