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

CNN
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Hillary Clinton worked to paint herself as honest and trustworthy in her first national television interview of the 2016 campaign, pointing the finger at Republicans for damaging accusations.
 

July 7, 2015 | NPR · Abdullahi Yusuf, 19, had pleaded guilty to charges he tried to leave Minnesota and aid the self-proclaimed Islamic State. He says through his lawyer that the box cutter is not his.
 

AFP/Getty Images
July 7, 2015 | NPR · The Millennium Development Goals, set in 2000, revolutionized the fight against poverty. Now the world is setting Sustainable Development Goals. But critics say there may be too many priorities.
 

Arts & Life

Joshua Cogan
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Walk down a street in Peru and you’ll likely see an example of the glow-in-the-dark posters and murals. Lots of people love them. But the upper crust — and the government — aren’t impressed.
 

NPR
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Smoky and floral brews can provide a kick of flavor to desserts, especially when blended with chocolate. Pastry chef Naomi Gallego shows us a few tricks for surprising the palate with tea.
 

Reuters /Landov
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck says his department would investigate any sexual assault accusations against Bill Cosby — even past the statute of limitations.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel powers the Brooklyn glam/garage trio in a surging, shredding kiss-off song.
 

July 7, 2015 | NPR · While Bob Boilen’s out, Katie Presley and All Songs intern Julian Ring are replaying their favorite episodes of the podcast. Today: A look back at the ’90s.
 

Courtesy of A24
July 7, 2015 | NPR · Films about music — including documentaries about Amy Winehouse, Nina Simone and Kurt Cobain — tend to focus on everything surrounding the ineffable art without delving deeply into its core.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab