Telluride Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund: Update!

Telluride Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund: Update!

The coronavirus is a shared (and daunting) greater Telluride community experience. The effects on the economy and health are unprecedented. 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

For more info on COVIDCheck Colorado, go here.

Katie Singer’s Covid-19 Response Fund update follows.

COVID-19 Response Fund Update: Increase in Good Neighbor Applications

In many ways we are starting to learn to live with the coronavirus – it is becoming natural to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, and wash our hands constantly. However, for many in our community this new normal also means getting used to less work, a smaller paycheck, and a stack of unpaid bills.

The Telluride Foundation can see, from the Good Neighbor assistance program applications, that the pandemic has a serious economic impact on our region.

Since March, the GN program has provided $584,871 in emergency assistance grants, serving over 300 individuals and families. As CARES Act funding was deployed through stimulus checks, unemployment assistance, and the Payroll Protection Program, we saw a drop off in GN applications. Now that those programs have ended, the Foundation is again seeing an increase in need and GN applications. As the chart below demonstrates the trend is starting to go up, and like many unanswerable questions from the pandemic, we don’t know when it might level off.

With the realization that we must continue to help the most vulnerable people in our community, we have not let up on our COVID-19 response efforts. We continue to fundraise for the COVID-19 Response Fund, provide nonprofit emergency grants, and offer emergency loans and technical assistance to regional small businesses. COVID-19 and its compounding impacts are not going away anytime soon; neither is our full-force effort to support everyone in our community. Here. Now. Tomorrow.

A Collaboration to Help Keep Schools Open:

In order to keep Telluride’s regional school open and increase the likelihood that students can attend in-classroom school (vs. on-line), the Telluride Foundation is collaborating with Tri-County Health Network, San Miguel and Ouray county public health departments, four regional school districts (Telluride, Norwood, Ouray, and Ridgway), and COVIDCheck Colorado, a COVID testing, tracking, tracing, and data management platform, to bring testing to school employees and a symptoms platform to employees and students.

The collaboration will provide baseline testing for school employees, with ongoing testing every two weeks, as well as a web-based and smart phone symptoms tracking application for employees and students in each school. School administrators will have access to a dashboard of test results and symptoms, allowing them to react quickly to potential outbreaks.

The collaboration’s goal is for schools to remain open for all students with in-classroom instruction, as on-line learning negatively impacts vulnerable and ELL students and their parents disproportionately. Click HERE to read more.

Superintendent of Telluride School District, John Pandolfo, is first to be PCR tested in preparation for safe return to school.

Navigating College Admission Changes:

In 2020, the Telluride Foundation awarded a total of $419,000 in scholarships to 17 high-achieving students from the six regional school districts. These scholarships included six new Chang Chavkin Scholar awards, up to $60,000 per student, for first-generation students. The Chang Chavkin Scholars not only experienced a nontraditional senior year and graduation, but now they are having to make decisions about whether to pursue college, either online, on-campus, or a hybrid of those options, or take a gap year. While these are unprecedented times, students are learning how to find solid ground and either continue to pursue their college education or put their education on hold.

College campuses across America are providing a diverse range of reopening plans. Depending on the school, students are either being offered an entirely remote and off-campus option or a hybrid of remote and in-person education on campus. Students are working through their sense of safety and satisfaction. They are asking,” Will I learn?” “Will it be fun?” “Will it be worth the cost?” “Is there a better way to spend my time during this time of uncertainty?” For some, a college education is the goal, and those students are ready to stay calm, focused, and flexible. They are moving to campus, if offered, and following campus guidelines to ensure their progress toward graduation regardless of the compromises or tradeoffs.

Click HERE to read more.

Telluride Foundation 1 of 15 National Finalists for “Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge” Award:

On Monday, Aug. 24th, the Telluride Foundation along with its partners, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Housing Finance Authority, McStain Neighborhoods, Simple Homes and the Colorado Health Foundation, made its virtual live pitch to a panel of judges in the third and final round of the Housing Affordability Breakthrough Challenge, sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners & Wells Fargo. Six winners will receive a $2M award to implement their affordable housing concept.

From an initial pool of nearly 900 applicants, the Foundation and team advanced to pitch their Rural Affordable Housing Initiative (RAHi), which aims to create a turnkey affordable housing development and financing model to give rural communities across Colorado and the nation a step-by-step guide and access to experts, customizable building plans, and construction and development financing.

Although results of the challenge will be announced September 22nd, the Foundation has already solidified relationships with state partners, and plans to implement RAHi are already in place, prize or no prize. C

Click HERE to read more.

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