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

AP
September 5, 2015 | NPR · The town of Naraha, which had 7,400 residents, was evacuated in the wake of a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 that triggered the release of radiation at the power plant.
 

September 5, 2015 | NPR · When Congress returns from summer recess Tuesday, it will tackle the Iran nuclear deal, but that won’t be its only big issue. NPR’s Scott Simon gets the details from correspondent Scott Horsley.
 

AP
September 5, 2015 | NPR · The refugees from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere have been blocked for days from leaving Hungary.
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Edward Lee
September 5, 2015 | NPR · We recorded the show in Louisville, Ky., this week — the capital of horse racing. So we’ve invited Lee to play a game called “It’s just like horse racing, if you pretend they’re tiny horses.”
 

September 5, 2015 | NPR · NPR’s Scott Simon talks to Jonathan Evison about his new novel, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance, in which the title character finds herself on an Alaskan cruise with the ghost of her husband and a daughter she can’t trust.
 

September 5, 2015 | NPR · Historical novelist Cecelia Holland ventures into fantasy with this tale of a mute princess and a dragon. Critic Jason Heller says the book has an intriguing and unexpected core of Gothic romance.
 

Music

Getty Images
September 5, 2015 | NPR · Rock superstars Led Zeppelin face a claim that “Stairway to Heaven” was lifted from an earlier instrumental by the band Spirit. But what does it take to prove a song’s ownership?
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 5, 2015 | NPR · The NPR Music team shares a few of its favorite work-related tracks in honor of Labor Day.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 5, 2015 | NPR · The Kentucky folk singer says her onstage adrenaline “comes from a focus, rather than doing the high Van Morrison kicks in my velvet jumpsuit.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab