LOUISVILLE — It's been almost a year since the Marshall Fire destroyed several communities across Boulder County.
Hundreds of families still have a long road ahead of them, but a new center is getting ready to open on Monday that will help victims through the recovery process.
The Marshall ROC Marshall Fire Recovery Center hosted a community open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday.
The Marshall Fire Recovery Center, located at 357 McCaslin Blvd., Suite 115-B in Louisville, will officially open on Monday, Oct. 31.
It will provide a centralized and easily accessible location to expedite the access and delivery of disaster-related support, services and resources.
The Marshall Fire Recovery Center will provide spaces for mental health, rebuilding, and technical programs and professionals who are all helping to support the impacted community, and to facilitate coordination and collaboration among local, national and governmental organizations.
The Center will also be available for smaller community events.
Ben Edelstein, who is the co-chair of Marshall Fire ROC said the center is meant to help consolidate the resources available for the community.
"People with insurance expertise, construction expertise, and emotional health professionals. It's incredibly complex. It's really challenging financially. And you know, the one-year anniversary that's coming up is really going to bring a lot of that pain and struggle back to people," said Edelstein.
Denver7 spoke with a family who lost everything and lives near the center. Mariah Leach said her family was out of town when the Marshall Fire hit and they weren't able to save any of their belongings. They have since relocated to a new house in Louisville.
"We actually purchased this home, we've made the difficult decision not to rebuild on our lot," said Leach. My children are young, I have some health issues. It's a wonderful community that's welcomed us in. But we still really want to support our friends and neighbors who we know are still are rebuilding."
It's a challenging time, not only are the holidays right around the corner but so is the first anniversary of the fire.
"It's a little bit overwhelming to kind of think about how to, you know, recreate the magic inside of our home," said Leach.
The family counts themselves lucky but continues facing obstacles.
"Even though we've decided to purchase a home, instead of rebuilding, we still have a long road ahead of us, we have insurance things to finish. It's not over for us. And there are people who it's not over for, for a very long time," she added.
"Those neighbors who are rebuilding need all the support and resources they can get. We want to take advantage of the resources that are there for us because they've really helped us so far," said Leach.
While the family does that, they're also planning to create new traditions this holiday season.
"We're talking about having a wish tree this year where we're gonna make little decorations show places we wish to travel in the future," added Leach.
As the one-year anniversary of the Marshall Fire approaches, affected residents in Superior, Louisville, and unincorporated Boulder County are organizing various events to mark the milestone, and local municipalities and nonprofits are partnering to ensure residents have access to important resources.
Mental Health Partners and Jewish Family Service will have tables set up in Louisville and Superior at various times through at least the end of November.
Counselors will be on-hand to talk with people about any issues they are dealing with or mental health concerns they may have and provide resources for referrals.
Through November 29, counselors will be available at:
- Superior Community Center (1500 Coalton Rd) every Tuesday (9:30-11:30 AM).
- Louisville Recreation & Senior Center (900 Via Appia) every Tuesday (3-6 PM), Wednesday (8-11 AM & 3-6 PM) and Thursday (8-11 AM).
- Louisville Public Library (951 Spruce St) every Thursday (2-5 PM) and during Storytime (find the schedule here.)
Survivors can access counseling services and crisis support by calling 303.413.6282 or via email at MHPCares@mhpcolorado.org.
Community resources can also be found at https://www.mhpcolorado.org/cowildfiresupport
Jewish Family Service and Community Foundation Boulder County continue to offer Boulder County Crisis Counselingto residents. The program offers 10 free individual or family counseling sessions and provides a pool of more than 200 licensed providers from which to choose. For additional details about the program, visit https://www.jewishfamilyservice.org/bcc
- The Art Therapy Program offered through Superior’s CAPS Committee and Chamber continues through the end of December. Visit superiorchamber.com for more details. You can sign up for November sessions by clicking here. This is available to all impacted individuals.
- Mental Health Partners and Jewish Family Service are also providing crisis cards to businesses in Louisville and Superior and library service desks in Louisville, Broomfield, Boulder and Lafayette for distribution among the community. Crisis cards provide 24/7 phone, text, in-person and online access to mental health support.
If people would like to donate to support Marshall ROC and the new recovery center, they can visit marshallroc.org.
The center will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.