Foundation: Good Neighbor Fund Forced to Limit Applications! Support Needed!

Foundation: Good Neighbor Fund Forced to Limit Applications! Support Needed!

The Telluride Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund provides cash assistance for critical human needs to families impacted by the pandemic.

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

Go here for community resources and how to apply to the Fund (if a Ouray County resident or seeking behavioral health services).

Go here for more information about the Ouray County Response fund.

Katie Singer’s Covid-19 Response Fund update follows. Bottom line: community need for cash assistance remans high as a result of the pandemic.

In March of 2020 when the pandemic hit, the Telluride Foundation knew that the impacts would impact this corner of rural southwest Colorado hard, in part because the region’s economy is so dependent on tourism, retail, and service jobs. As a result, the Foundation immediately started fundraising for its COVID-19 Response Fund to try and get ahead of the economic hits that could devastate local residents and families. The Foundation and Tri-County Health Network (TCHNetwork) teamed up to expand administration of the existing Good Neighbor Fund (GNF), which already provided emergency assistance for critical needs such as rent, utilities, health care, and food. TCHNetwork increased bilingual intake staff and provided information about additional resources over and above cash grants.

However, looking back a year later, the Foundation did not anticipate the gravity of the need or the length of time that individuals and families would require financial help. Now, having helped over 700 individuals and families with over $1.35M in financial assistance, there is no more funding left for Good Neighbor assistance grants, except for Ouray county residents, through the Ouray County Response Fund, and San Miguel county residents seeking funding for behavioral health services.

COVID Good Neighbor assistance is used by people who have exhausted all other resources and need help paying for rent, food, medicine, and other basic human necessities. Rent payments are the primary assistance request, with 78% of funds paid for this essential need.

TCHNetwork still has $45,000 of GNF applications under review, however, starting immediately no new applications will be accepted. (The Foundation and TCHNetwork will continue to accept applications for the Ouray County Response Fund, limited to Ouray County residents, and San Miguel County behavioral health assistance; interested applicants to these programs can find more information on the Foundation’s website). The Foundation sincerely hopes that this situation is temporary and will keep its partners and the community updated.

The Foundation regrets the fact that it is again coming back to its donors and the community to ask for additional donations, as many have already been incredibly generous. However, the need for Good Neighbor assistance continues, and this fund is the only place community members can apply for direct critical human needs cash assistance. While there have been various government programs such as stimulus checks and unemployment, many people do not qualify.

“We continue to see an increase in GNF assistance program requests with continued high unemployment, continued under-employment, and the demands on households with young families trying to balance work and online school,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “We anticipate that we will need to raise another $200,000 to meet the needs of our must vulnerable residents through the summer of 2021. While employment rates have rebounded to pre-COVID levels for high-wage workers, they remain significantly lower for low-wage workers. The financial need for many of our community members is severe and on-going.”

To date, donations to the GNF have come primarily from generous private donors. However recently, San Miguel County contributed an additional $45,000 along with restricted funds for behavioral health support. The Foundation continues to seek support from other local governments and hopes that it will soon be in the position to again start accepting applications from residents of San Miguel County, west Montrose County, and Rico.

Telluride Foundation, more:

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride and regional community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. This year, 2021 ,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.

The Telluride Foundation is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants to nonprofits, owns and operates programs that meet emerging and unmet community needs, and makes investments. The Foundation approaches this work through the lens of its core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Its work is funded through the generous support of individual donors as well as grants from state and national foundations.

The Foundation hopes the community will join it in celebrating its 20th anniversary as it honors the nonprofits, donors, and community members who have all partnered together to achieve a significant positive impact on the region.

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