CERF (Community Emergency Relief Fund) is designated for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado. Established in 2008 in response to the Season's Restaurant fire, CERF has been activated for the Gold King Mine spill in 2015, the Adobe Building fire in Pagosa Springs in 2016, and the 416 Fire in 2018.
The Community Foundation has activated the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) in response to the COVID-19 protective measures that are now in place in Southwest Colorado. These measures, such as closures, cancelations, self-quarantines and social distancing, are necessary to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission, and particularly to preserve and protect the capacity of our local healthcare facilities.
Donations are now being accepted to deploy funds to community-based organizations directly responding to the needs of vulnerable members of our community and other organizations that are suffering economic consequences from this pandemic. These resources will be disbursed as needed and as available.
The first two rounds of Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) granting have been completed with $100,500 being disbursed across Southwest Colorado to human services nonprofits serving vulnerable populations and school districts providing food and childcare services. Another $100,500 in matching grants was coordinated by the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado, bringing the total emergency funds distributed in the first six weeks of this crisis to $201,000 to 32 organizations across five counties.
Rounds 1 and 2 of CERF grants were designated as response funding, addressing immediate needs created by the closures and restrictions put in place during the public health crisis to slow the spread of COVID-19. Examples of these needs include food security, rent and utilities assistance and service to populations disproportionately impacted by this emergency.
The next round of CERF funding is targeted for late June and is anticipated to be another $100,000+. These grants will address recovery and resiliency, assisting nonprofit organizations with stabilization, as the immediate impacts of this public health emergency begin to subside.
Community stakeholders, including representatives from public health, local governments, school districts, businesses and nonprofits, will prioritize available funds to meet immediate needs in our region, including public health needs and economic impacts.
Thank you for your generosity in supporting one another during this challenging time!
If you prefer to donate by check: make checks payable to the Community Foundation, with CERF in the memo line, and mail to P.O. Box 1673, Durango, CO 81302.