South Lawrence was so quiet Monday afternoon that a skateboarder glided down the middle of Brookfield Street. It’s a far cry from last week’s chaos when a series of gas explosions forced thousands of residents to leave. You can see the lingering effects — a house forced off its foundation, the charred remains of the apartment building where Brenda Jones lived. She spent much of the morning a few miles away at the Arlington Street School standing in line.

“I’m trying to find out if if I can get a place,” she said, “if they can help with a voucher or whatever.”

This school has been serving as a shelter since Thursday. Now it’s also a resource center for people seeking everything from housing to food to crisis counseling.

“I’m just hoping for disaster relief,” said Devin McCarthy.

She lost the groceries in her fridge and several days’ pay because closed roads meant customers could not get to the salon where she works.

“It’s just insane how many people are affected by this,” said McCarthy, “and its none of our fault.”

Lawrence is a city where people struggle. Data from the Lawrence public schools indicates about 65 percent of children come from homes considered economically disadvantaged. A study by the Massachusetts Association for Community Action found about a third of renters spend more than half their income on rent.

Monica Delcheccolo rents a condo that uses electric power, but her neighbor has gas, so she left. She and her extended family spent the weekend crowded into an Airbnb.

“We all stayed together,” said Delcheccolo. “It’s like pulling finances out when we have to pay rent to these homes that we’re not even staying in.”

Most residents are back in their homes. They’ve got lights, but no gas.

Tom Clark was riding his bike around South Lawrence surveying the damage in the neighborhood where he’s lived for years. Cold showers are one thing he said, the lingering uncertainty another.

“It just stresses you out terribly,” said Clark, “people are afraid to come home now.”