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

Library of Congress
May 27, 2018 | NPR · Nervous mothers and dads once had only family and friends to turn to for advice on kids. Then, in 1912, the U.S. government created an agency devoted to children, and queries from moms poured in.
 

AP
May 27, 2018 | NPR · White people have called the police on black people in multiple incidents recently, despite no crimes being committed. Professor Khalil Muhammad thinks it’s a problem with a complex history.
 

AP
May 27, 2018 | NPR · Opponents of the mine are calling on the state’s governor to stop the project. The copper and gold mine would be located on state lands near some of the richest salmon fisheries in the world.
 

Arts & Life

Hinterland Studio
May 27, 2018 | NPR · Our occasional series on storytelling in video games returns with a look at the survival simulator The Long Dark, which uses sound and silence to build a world not long into some terrible disaster.
 

Courtesy of the New Press
May 27, 2018 | NPR · A love story between a black Army nurse and a German POW during World War II? You couldn’t make that story up — and Alexis Clark, author of the upcoming book, Enemies in Love, didn’t.
 

The Washington Post/Getty Images
May 26, 2018 | NPR · The actress was one of the first women to publicly accuse Weinstein of sexual assault. She says she had not believed the movie mogul would face charges, but now hopes he will be convicted.
 

Music

May 27, 2018 | NPR · Bluegrass greats Del McCoury and Ronnie McCoury join NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro to talk about Del’s new album, and life on the road with a band that’s become like family.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 27, 2018 | NPR · Three women — a soprano, a mezzo-soprano, and a vice president of opera programming — join NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro for a conversation about harassment and inequity in the opera world.
 

Getty
May 27, 2018 | NPR · Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a rising star in the U.K. classical world, wants to serve as an inspiration for musicians even younger than he is.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab