Sister Carmen Community Center provides assistance to East Boulder County residents who reside in Lafayette, Louisville, Superior or Erie.
Boulder, Colorado. – After last month Devastating wildfires in Boulder CountyMany families are homeless after losing their homes and all their belongings due to the fire.
Many of these families are currently living in temporary homes and others are struggling to find work after their workplaces have burned down.
RELATED: Updated numbers show 1,084 homes destroyed in Marshall Fire
Sister Carmen Community Center, a non-religious, non-profit organization that helps families affected by the Marshall Fire provide clothing, food, and cover the cost for those staying in temporary housing.
“We help families affected by fires with gift cards and food if they need it,” said Abi Ocampo, senior bilingual advocate at Sister Carmen Community Center. “Kitchen gadgets, or sofas, beds, whatever you need, we’re here to support you.”
Ocampo said families who have been displaced and who are in hotels or looking for a hotel, can go to the organization to help pay for their accommodation.
“We help families stay in a hotel, stay safe or help pay hotel fare if they are already there and need this financial assistance.”
The organization has helped East Boulder County residents in Lafayette, Louisville and Superior for more than 40 years. They help people with rent assistance, help out utilities, including water and Xcel bills, and connect people to resources.
“We love our community. “We try to work with them and meet them wherever they are,” Ocampo said.
According to Ocampo, Sister Carmen Community Center is asking for financial donations and gift cards because they are now overwhelmed after Receive large numbers of clothes, kitchen utensils, furniture, diapers, among other things.
RELATED: Community donations help fill gaps as Marshall Fire survivors move forward
“We are up to our donation level, our building is completely full, it looks like a warehouse where we have our stored things,” Ocampo said. “So the best way to help us is by making a donation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dollar or five dollars or $100; we accept donations because those donations help us book hotels and buy more food if needed. To buy cards.”
Families sometimes need petrol so that people can also donate gas cards or visa So that families can do what they have to do with these cards. They can also donate the cards to their favorite stores like Walmart, Target, King Soopers, and Safeway.
Another obstacle facing fire-affected families is the pandemic as many people are also infected with COVID-19 as they are dealing with the housing crisis.
“So we have to be creative in order to help them get help,” Ocampo said. “We don’t want COVID to be a problem, in fact we want to help them because we know that with COVID it only complicates things.”
RELATED: Short-term rental owners gather to offer housing for Marshall Fire survivors
“I have people like, ‘I’m confused, I’m sorry I have coronavirus. “My brain isn’t working,” she added. “I get it, I want to help you, so come to our center and we’ll figure something out for you.”
Ocampo said those who need assistance can contact the organization and speak to a bilingual representative at 303-665-4342. They do not need an appointment but calling ahead will help direct them accordingly.
The Marshall Fire is the most devastating wildfire in state history. It destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and burned more than 6,200 acres. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated as the fire spread to the Superior, Louisville and Broomfield areas.
On January 1, two days after the Marshall Fire began decimating Boulder County communities, President Joe Biden agreed to declare a disaster.
The announcement will release federal aid, including from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), for Colorado. Residents and business owners who have experienced losses in specific areas can begin applying for assistance by registering online or by calling 1-800-621-3362.
RELATED: Federal Aid Coming to Colorado After Disaster Declaration Approved
Help may include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs.
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