Emergency Fund (Image Courtesy of Residence Style)

The City of Salida hosted a special emergency meeting at 1 p.m. today, Friday March 20th to discuss an initiative started with the City of Salida and the Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) for a Challenge Grant for emergency relief funding for the response need due to the coronavirus known as the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Salida City Council moved unanimously to challenge the larger Chaffee County community to fund the Emergency Response Fund at the Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF).  This challenge grant opportunity would match, dollar-for-dollar, any charitable donation from the community up to $25,000.

Mayor Wood and City Administrator Drew Nelson were on the conference call along with Council members Justin Critelli, Harald Kasper, Jane Templeton, Alisa Pappenfort, Mike Pollock, Dan Shore and Treasurer Merrell Bergin. CCCF Director Joseph Teipel, other members of the community and local media were also on the call.

“The City Council also asks all local and county governments to join in this challenge to the community, and this is an opportunity to show Salida’s values and generosity.  Collectively, this challenge grant is anticipated to raise more than $100,000 for assistance to our workforce, with more information following in the coming days from both the City of Salida and CCCF,” said the City of Salida press release.

Poncha Springs will be discussing if they will join the challenge in their regular meeting on Monday, March 23. The Town of Buena Vista will discuss their potential support in their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 24.

“This challenge grant is intended to provide temporary relief to individuals and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent impacts to the Chaffee County workforce.  Initial estimates indicate that as many as 5,000 local workers may be impacted economically by this pandemic.  This program is intended to work hand-in-hand with the Chaffee County Department of Human Services, which is still the first stop for any individual or household seeking financial assistance,” said the press release from the City of Salida.

The press release continues, “If an individual or family does not qualify for Chaffee County Department of Human Services (CCDHS) assistance, the Emergency Response Fund can step in.  Qualification and selection of assistance will be made on a case-by-case basis by the CCCF.  Individuals and families will be eligible for up to $200 per household member OR $600 per calendar month.  Household assistance will initially be limited to $1,200 per household per calendar year.”

CCCF Executive Director Joseph Teipel said, “We are inspired by the leadership of the City of Salida and are committed to working closely with the Department of Human Resources and other partners to help our community – this is a simple idea with lasting impact.”

The Salida City Council also voted unanimously to immediately release an additional $3,000 from its Donor Advised Fund with CCCF to assist local non-profit organizations.  This money was originally intended to be held for donations later in the year; however, the City Council felt that nonprofits would need this funding immediately.

Mayor P.T. Wood said, “The hard-working people of Salida and Chaffee County will need to come together if we are to keep our community strong.  This grant program, in partnership with the Chaffee County Community Foundation, will provide desperately needed assistance to the people that make our community run.  Now is the time for Salidans to help our friends, neighbors and coworkers. Please give what you can!”

Those who are donating to the Emergency Response Fund can do so by visiting https://www.chaffeecommunity.org/ and click on “Donate to the Chaffee Emergency Response Fund”

Or those interested in helping to address the emergency, can contact CCCF Director Joseph Teipel at (719) 204-5071.