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Boulder was prepared to provide mental health help for the community if a tragedy happened

Boulder wants to spread the word that are a group of people and community resources ready to help anyone who needs it.

DENVER — Boulder wants to spread the word that is a group of people and a list of community resources available to anyone who needs help after what happened at King Soopers.

The Boulder Office of Emergency Management (OEM) coordinated with community resources to bring behavioral health help, crisis counseling, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, victim advocates and therapy dogs under one roof at the Family Assistance Center. 

It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday at 2855 N. 63rd Street, at the VIA Mobility building, and could be extended. 

Joycelyn Fankhouser, with OEM, said people who've lost loved ones, employees from the grocery store and surrounding businesses, as well as witnesses, have come in already.

WATCH: Witnesses of grocery store shooting are left with invisible injuries

But anyone in the community who needs help, whether they were at the shooting or not, can come in to connect with resources.

The assistance center was set up within three and a half hours of the first officers being dispatched to the grocery store on Monday afternoon. Fankhouser said Boulder had a plan in case the unthinkable happened, hoping it would stay just that -- a plan that was never used. 

The county started building and researching infrastructure over the years but wasn't yet fully out. Fankhouser, however, said the relationships were in place with a site picked out, so people quickly mobilized and community members started helping fellow community members. 

"A lot of people talk about knowing a person who was there -- a co-worker who was there," she said. "The impact is far-reaching, even for those of us who are helping." 

Fankhauser said there is some comfort in knowing they are helping others and are encouraging people to come by to the Family Assistance Center. 

After the center closes, people can go to the Boulder Office of Emergency Management website to connect with resources on a longer-term basis. 

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