The Chaffee County Community Foundation announced important changes in a press release to its Emergency Response Fund by pausing its acceptance of individual requests for COVID assistance over the coming weeks as it seeks to bolster the ERF with additional donations.
The Chaffee community generously contributed just over $410,000 to the ERF, mainly in the months of March, April, and May. Through this fund, CCCF has given direct assistance to over 300 Chaffee households and 28 Chaffee nonprofits.
A message from one ERF recipient sums up the fund’s impact: “I really just want to express my gratitude for the assistance we received. It really made all the difference in the world because without it, we’d be homeless. I’m not exaggerating or being hyperbolic. Had we not gotten help from the foundation, as of today, we’d have been homeless. There aren’t words adequate to describe our appreciation.”
As donations have slowed and applications continue to come through, the current ERF un-allocated balance will dwindle to zero by early October if not sooner.
As part of its stewardship of this permanent fund, CCCF’s board is cognizant that retaining a balance in the ERF is in the best interest of the community and will ensure our collective ability to respond both to COVID and other disasters or emergencies in ways that honor emerging needs.
Therefore, CCCF is pausing the acceptance of individual renewal applications starting Wednesday, Sept. 9. CCCF will pause the acceptance of first time individual applications starting Monday, Sept. 28. All applications received before those dates will be reviewed and eligible applicants will be assisted.
CCCF remains in close coordination with Chaffee County’s Department of Human Services and Department of Public Health.
Individuals still in need of assistance can continue applying to DHS by calling 719-530-2500 or online from CCCF’s website at www.chaffeecommunity.org/erf.
CCCF is asking community members to consider ERF donations this fall, and CCCF will continue reassess its ability to re-open individual assistance applications based on the available resources as well as community needs.
In addition, CCCF continues its other ERF work focused on building capacity of food access and youth-serving organizations.
“We are incredibly hopeful for the future and thankful to the Chaffee community for stepping up to help those in need due to this pandemic,” CCCF executive director Joseph Teipel says. “We remain committed to serving this community and ensuring it has the resources it needs far into the future.”