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

CBS
May 29, 2015 | NPR · Bob Schieffer, anchor of CBS’ Face the Nation, retires Sunday after 46 years at the network. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says Schieffer is the last among a vanished breed of traditional news anchors.
 

May 29, 2015 | NPR · Officials of both organizations were accused of taking bribes. Leaders of both said they couldn’t watch subordinates’ behavior. Persistent outsiders found evidence of misconduct.
 

May 29, 2015 | NPR · The numbers are more than the Pentagon’s Thursday estimate of nine states and a U.S. Air Force base in South Korea. News organizations named Australia as the other country that received the samples.
 

Arts & Life

CBS
May 29, 2015 | NPR · Bob Schieffer, anchor of CBS’ Face the Nation, retires Sunday after 46 years at the network. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says Schieffer is the last among a vanished breed of traditional news anchors.
 

Courtesy of Radius-TWC
May 29, 2015 | NPR · The film slightly fictionalizes the experience of Arielle Holmes, a young homeless addict whom filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie first encountered in Manhattan’s Diamond District.
 

May 29, 2015 | NPR · As viewers turn to streaming sites to watch old TV shows, studios are issuing new DVD box sets of classic shows to a shrinking market. Critic Dave Bianculli suggests a few sets that are worth buying.
 

Music

Getty Images
May 29, 2015 | NPR · The black entrepreneur who opened a record store called Dolphin’s Of Hollywood — in South Central Los Angeles — is the subject of a new musical about his business success and untimely death.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 29, 2015 | WXPN · Hear music from El Malito & the 33rd Century, El Caribefunk and Pupi Legarreta, Latin artists with Philadelphia connections.
 

May 29, 2015 | NPR · The Welsh band’s name is a play on that of singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom. Ken Tucker likens the group’s second album to a high-wire act accompanied by “furiously strummed punk-rock guitar chords.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab