Nonprofits form long-term recovery group to aid fire victims

Colorado Springs’ nonprofits are banding together to continue to help victims of the Waldo Canyon fire.

Called the long-term recovery group, the local nonprofits will coordinate services and share resources to help families and the community recover in the aftermath of one of the most costly fires in the state’s history.

“Of course, our community will always bear the scars of this disaster, “ said Mark Rohlena, President and CEO of Catholic Charities of Southern Colorado and the co-chairman of the new group. “But our neighbors will need long-term support and services to attain what will be for us the ‘new normal.’”

Michelle Swanson of First Presbyterian Church is also co-chairing the collaborative group.

Catholic Charities has already had an increase in requests for assistance with daily living expenses from people who were employed in the tourist industry and are now out of work.

“We will reach out to assist anyone who needs a helping hand – whether that be counseling, financial assistance, housing assistance and other needed physical, spiritual and emotional supports>”

The LTRB represents about two dozen nonprofits, volunteer and faith-based organizations. The group identified areas of need and broke into small group to work on action plans. They areas identified included: financial and income assistance, housing, child care, mental health and spiritual care, assistance for the disabled, small business recovery, disaster case management and communications.

The group will use the same blueprint that has worked in other disasters – tornadoes, hurricanes and the World Trade Center bombing.

At this time, the primary manner of accessing recovery services is through the Disaster Recovery Center or 211. The center is located at 105 N. Spruce St., just off Bijou and I-25 in Colorado Springs.

Groups involved are:

2-1-1 Referral Line of United Way of Pikes Peak

Adventists Community Services

American Red Cross

Bahai Community

Buddhist Community

Calvary United Methodist Church

Calvary United Methodist Church and United Methodist Committee on Relief

Care and Share Foodbank of Southern Colorado

Christian Church

Christian Reform World Disaster Response Network

Christian Reform World Relief Services

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Colorado Baptist Convention/Southern Baptist Convention

Colorado Land & Trust

Colorado Emergency Management

Colorado Springs Housing Authority

Colorado Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster

Cragmoor CRC

Ecumenical Social Ministries

El Pomar

FEMA

First Christian Church

Goodwill Industries

Hope Restored

Housing Continuum

Jewish Community of Colorado Springs

Lutheran Disaster Response

Mennonite Disaster Recovery Services

Mercy’s Gate

New Life Church

Rocky Mountain Community Land Trust

Salvation Army

Southern Baptist Disaster

Sunrise UMC

Temple Shalom

United Church of Christ

United Methodist Church

United Methodist Committee on Relief

Village & Presbyterian Church

Westside Cares

Woodman Valley Chapel

First Presbyterian

Catholic Charities of Central Colorado