Foundation: Ouray County Response Fund, Update!

Ouray County Response Fund raises over $400,000 for residents experiencing hardship in the Age of Corona. For more information about the Fund, including how to apply for a Good Neighbor grant or how to donate, go to: https://telluridefoundation.org/ouray-county-response-fund/.  

Recently, thanks to many generous donations, the Ouray County Response Fund met its goal of doubling the original gift of $200,000. Now, with over $400,000 in donations, the Fund is continuing to support Ouray County residents in need of a financial boost due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, which started affecting residents in March and will likely continue at least throughout 2020.

The Response Fund opened with donations from two Ouray County families, who generously gave $100,000 each with the hope of raising additional community dollars. The response was overwhelming, providing an additional $100,000, including through the sales of handmade masks, with all proceeds being donated to the Fund. An additional $100,000 was recently received from a donor who lives outside of the area, but was impressed by the way the community was supporting one another during these difficult times.

The Response Fund is being managed by the Telluride Foundation. Individual grants are provided through its Good Neighbor Regional Emergency Hardship Assistance program for families and individuals experiencing a financial crisis. Any Ouray County resident is eligible. Grants of up to $2,000 can support individual or family needs such as rent, medical bills, car repair, food, etc. Residents can apply by  completing a Good Neighbor Fund Application, available at  https://telluridefoundation.org/ouray-county-response-fund/. Prior recipients are eligible to re-apply after 3 months.

The Foundation has operated Good Neighbor for 15 years with Tri-County Health Network staff administering the grant process and providing cash assistance for rent, food, medicine, transportation, and other critical human needs.

Since mid-March, when coronavirus impacts started closing businesses and schools, the Good Neighbor program increased capacity, building to a Tri-County Health Network staff doing in-take and facilitating applications. These front-line bi-lingual/bi-cultural individuals not only provide Good Neighbor grants, but also help clients access other public services, while also providing extensive household financial management support.

From mid-March, when the Ouray County Response Fund was created, through July 17, the Fund has received 102 requests, bringing the total to almost $200,000 in hardship grants to residents of Ouray County.

Tri-County Health Network anticipates another surge of need as CARES Act benefits end and as the increase in COVID-19 cases continues to limit businesses reopening and the County’s overall economic recovery.

Telluride Foundation, more: 

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride and regional community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. 2020 marks 20 years of making more possible through the Telluride Foundation’s commitment to enrich the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride region. Currently, we are meeting this mission through our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have created the regional Coronavirus Response Fund, which supports community-based organizations and vulnerable individuals and families in the Telluride region, including San Miguel, Ouray, west Montrose counties and Rico. The Fund is targeted to assist in three urgent areas: 1) the  Good Neighbor Fund, family/individual emergency assistance for food, rent, medical (including behavioral health treatments); 2) emergency grants to  health and human service nonprofits, including regional medical clinics, food banks, and schools to provide meals for students; 3) expanded internet access and infrastructure necessary for students and teachers to participate in remote learning.

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