Telluride Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund Update

Telluride Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund Update

Frequently Asked Questions about the Telluride Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund. Click HERE to make a donation or contact Katie Singer at (970) 729-1807 or

The novel coronavirus is truly a shared community experience. The effects on the economy and health are unprecedented.

We want to provide a weekly update on the resources and response to our shared community challenge.

Response Fundraising

To date, the Telluride Foundation has raised over $641,000 from over 132 donors from across the community. This is remarkable that so many, have given so much, in such a short period of time.

The Foundation just received this week, a $25,000 grant from the Colorado COVID-19 Response Fund, which will add to our Good Neighbor Fund. In addition, a regional business is launching an employee match program and directing the contributions to our Response Fund.

Last week, as the federal government was announcing the release of individual taxpayer stimulus checks, a local resident reached out and asked how she could donate their household checks to help families who are struggling during this pandemic. After some back and forth, the resident said, “I want to ‘Stimulate the Response!’” That was the inspiration for our “Stimulate the Response” campaign to ask community members, who can, to consider contributing their stimulus checks to the regional COVID-19 Response Fund.

Good Neighbor Assistance and Emergency Grants

The Telluride Foundation has operated the Good Neighbor Fund (GNF) for 16 years, providing individual and family cash assistance to community members in need. In the past the GNF received 2 to 3 applications a month. Now, the GNF is a lifeline for many local families. This past month, we have funded, or are in the process of funding, over 90 Good Neighbor clients for a total of $147,497. In addition, the Response Fund has provided 8 emergency grants totaling $200,000 to nonprofits, including the 3 regional health clinics, expanded internet access for distance learning, and the regional food banks. The most recent emergency grant was awarded to the Telluride Medical Center for $75,000 to support its Phase II Surge Program.

The spending rate on the Good Neighbor Fund assistance program will increase as the impacts on families and individuals continue over the next months. The Foundation anticipates that the GNF could see sustained demand of $100,000 per month.

While the impacts on families and individuals has been devastating, the work of people on the front line and resilience of community members is inspiring and comforting.

One such story of a Good Neighbor Fund beneficiary is a mom of a family of 6 living in a mobile home park. She and her husband work seasonal jobs related to the tourism industry, and they are unable to pay for their monthly bills due to their current unemployment. They were able to apply for unemployment benefits, but it is unclear when those benefits will reach their family. Using the support of the Good Neighbor Fund, the Ouray County Response Fund, Energy Outreach Colorado, a discount on the mortgage payment, and a deferment on the car payment, we were able to cover all of the family’s expenses for the month of May and some expenses in the month of June. We were also able to help the client apply for LEAP (energy support), SNAP (food assistance), and Medicaid (health insurance) for the family. That has been a huge relief to the client as she was not sure of what bills she was going to be able to pay and what bills she was going to have to neglect.

More Updates:

Banks are often a low-key member of communities that we take for granted. However, during this unprecedented time, our regional banks and their staff have played a pivotal role in keeping many of our small business and nonprofits afloat, as well as people on payrolls.

During the first round of the federal Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Program (PPP), four regional lenders awarded 528 borrowers with more than $53 million in loans. These loans will keep people employed and allow businesses and nonprofits to bridge the gap until they can get back to business. With an additional $300 billion available to replenish the depleted PPP, local and regional banks are staffing up for those that missed out on the first round. One local bank has scheduled its employees to work 24/7 to process the already 450 PPP loan applications it has in its queue, totaling $26 million.

These loans and the dedicated, quick, and capable work of our local bank employees could make the difference for many small business and nonprofits.

The Telluride Foundation gives a shout-out to the many people who are working for the Telluride community.

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