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Local non-profits ready and willing to help Marshal fire recovery efforts

Art auction to benefit fire victims
neighborhood near corner of Indiana St and Colton Rd (4)
Marshal Fire damaged a neighborhood near the corner of Indiana Street and Colton Road

Longmont nonprofit groups that usually rush to the aid of people put on the streets by natural disasters are waiting on the sidelines as victims of the Marshall fire get regional and state help to regain a place to stay. 

The Marshall fire destroyed as many as 1,000 structures in Louisville and Superior on Dec. 30 including homes and businesses. The fire forced the evacuation of both communities. Both hard and soft closures were lifted today for residents of Superior, Louisville and unincorporated Boulder County.

Evacuation orders were not lifted for Louisville, according to a Boulder County news release.   

Outreach United Resource Center, or OUR Center, Executive Director Marc Cowell said the group is not involved with the Marshall fire response efforts. The Longmont nonprofit is in communication with the Sister Carmen relief center in Lafayette and Boulder County and will help with resources if called, Cowell said via email.

The OUR Center provides housing vouchers, food and clothing to those in need in Longmont and in the St. Vrain Valley School District.

“...They are aware that we are ready to assist when needed,” Cowell said. “At this time, we do not want to (stall) the gears as they are running in overdrive.”

The Inn Between of Longmont provides affordable housing and support services for families and individuals facing homelessness in Longmont and within the St. Vrain Valley School District. Executive Director Tim Rakow said no families have yet approached the organization for aid with housing.

“If a family came to us asking for help, we would certainly do what we can,” Rakow said. He has also been in contact with the Sister Carmen center to offer any resources.

The Inn Between may be called into help in the near future as permanent housing becomes more difficult to find in the local high-priced market, Rakow said. “It’s too early to say what will be needed down the road, but if we can help, we will,” he said.

The Longmont arts community, meanwhile, is raising funds for the Marshall and Middle Fork fires victims, through a fine art virtual auction from Jan. 6 through Feb. 1.

The Firehouse Art Center and Jon Fukuda, a Longmont business owner and artist, are sponsoring the auction which will feature a wide variety of styles, media and thematics, according to a news release.

All proceeds will go to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund (by Community Foundation Boulder County).  Community Foundation Boulder County, in partnership with Government and nonprofit organizations, will work to support the needs of the community as they emerge, the news release states.

“On 12/30/2021, many residents in our neighboring communities of Superior and Louisville lost everything. These people were our friends, our family, our colleagues, our neighbors ...  Our hearts are broken by the reality that faces them now. With so much pain, we wanted to do something to help.” Firehouse Art Center Executive Director, Elaine Waterman said in the news release.

 “I am so excited about the response we have gotten from the artist community all across the Front Range. With so many artists wanting to do their part, we actually had to extend the artists submission deadline to accommodate them,” Waterman said. 

The Marshall and Middle Fork fires Art Auction will open at 12pm on Thursday, Jan. 5, and will close at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Bidding will be online only and items can be viewed at