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

Getty Images
September 23, 2014 | NPR · The firestorm kicked off by a New York Times analysis of TV’s most successful black female showrunner mostly highlights how some struggle to handle new voices taking over the cultural conversation.
 

EPA/Landov
September 23, 2014 | NPR · The strikes, supported by five Arab nations, are a major escalation in the campaign and hit other extremists groups including one that the Pentagon says is planning to attack U.S. interests.
 

Xinhua /Landov
September 23, 2014 | OZY · Traffic in major cities in the developing world can be a mind-numbing mess. A team at IBM in Kenya’s capitol thinks it’s found an answer.
 

Arts & Life

Getty Images
September 23, 2014 | NPR · The firestorm kicked off by a New York Times analysis of TV’s most successful black female showrunner mostly highlights how some struggle to handle new voices taking over the cultural conversation.
 

AFP/Getty Images
September 23, 2014 | NPR · Nine of the late writer’s works are coming out as e-books in English. Also: a survey shows (again) a lack of diversity in publishing, and Ray Bradbury’s ode-worthy gardening tool gets an asking price.
 

September 23, 2014 | NPR · Brian Morton’s Florence Gordon is about the relationship between a tough, 75-year-old feminist icon and her granddaughter. It’s self-aware, funny and full of characters that are entirely believable.
 

Music

WGBH
September 23, 2014 | WGBH · Watch the Australian indie-pop band perform “Time To Dance” at Brighton Music Hall in Allston, Mass.
 

Mountain Stage
September 22, 2014 | NPR · The influential songwriter and outlaw-country innovator performs new songs and old favorites.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 22, 2014 | WXPN · The folk-pop singer-songwriter’s open, breezy arrangements speak fluent Californian. Hear two songs.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab