COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s been nearly a month since a four-alarm fire kicked out around 120 residents from their Colorado Springs apartment.
Those residents, however, are still unable to return home after asbestos was discovered around the building. The expectation is restoration work will be complete in August.
That’s why a pair of nonprofits, alongside city officials, are trying to raise $30,000 to support the displaced residents until they can move back in.
“These people do need some help. We’re talking about trying to raise about $1,000 per,” said Richard Skorman, president of the Colorado Springs City Council.
At a Thursday press conference, Skorman, Councilman Tom Strand and Dayton Romero, director of senior assistance for Silver Key, outlined the need for that money.
Silver Key is assisting 33 of the impacted residents, Romero said, and the group needs money for more necessities than just shelter.
“Toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, those sort of things are really a high need in these sort of situations and are often overlooked,” Romero said.
In some cases, the officials said they’ve found alternatives to help those now living without a home. One instance found the Red Cross donating airline miles to someone so they could fly home to spend time with family.
The majority of impacted residents are also seniors, some of whom didn’t have renters insurance and are now struggling to make ends meet.
“It’s a crisis that we’ll hopefully get through in the next couple months. But you know, with construction the way it is in Colorado Springs, it may be longer. And these are vulnerable people that really do need the community to help them,” Skorman said.
Their goal is for neighbors to help their neighbors and ensure the community will support its own, especially when times are tough.
“We want to provide these people, mostly seniors, with all the love and support that we can,” Strand said.
Skorman said the city may be able to help with the finances through a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) fund, though it’s still to be determined.
Those interested in helping these displaced residents can contact Silver Key at 719-884-2300.