October 9, 2020
Boulder County helped boost community investments by $4.4 Million in first five months of COVID-19
Boulder County’s Community Services, Housing and Human Services departments continue to leverage additional funding for pandemic response and to support long-term recovery
Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County’s rapid response to the COVID-19 public health emergency has delivered additional important services and support to community members impacted by the pandemic while utilizing emergency federal funding to help ensure local dollars are available for future needs.
Included in this response, between March and July 2020, the Boulder County departments of Housing and Human Services and Community Services directly invested $4.4 million in community-based support and non-profit organizations for additional housing and food assistance, employment help, financial assistance, services for older adults and for people experiencing homelessness, and more.
We acted quickly to double rental assistance, boost child care spending by $1 million, provide $515,000 in surge funding to our community partners, and advocate for enhanced benefits from federal programs such as an additional $7 million in emergency food assistance for our residents. We’re are using both CARES Act and county dollars to fund these critical services.
-- Boulder County Commissioner Matt Jones
The investments have supported increased services for county programs including capacity in:
- Workforce Boulder County’s call center,
- Meal services provided by the Area Agency on Aging (AAA),
- Rental assistance and comprehensive housing support provided through the county’s Housing Helpline.
Community partner organizations including Sister Carmen Community Center in Lafayette, Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) in Boulder, Outreach United Resource (OUR) Center in Longmont, and Clínica and Salud family health centers also received additional funding to support significant increases in need for housing and utility payment assistance, food, medical care, and more.
Ensuring Equitable, Full Access to Services
Boulder County is also dedicating resources to help close gaps in access to COVID-19 services and support in the Latinx community and for other traditionally marginalized populations.
Affordable Living and Equity and Justice are two of our strategic priority focus areas as commissioners. In addition to our work internally, Boulder County continues to deepen its engagement with advocates in communities of color.
-- Boulder County Commissioner Deb Gardner
Our equity work also helps ensure that all residents have full access to services and support during COVID-19. We’re working with and in these communities to increasingly provide culturally competent and relevant programming, communication, language assistance, and bilingual services.
--Boulder County Commissioner Elise Jones
Boulder County Funders Collaborative
In addition to the county’s direct work and investments, the Boulder County Funders Collaborative, a coalition of non-profits, foundations, and county departments, directed an additional $3.5 million to organizations and services providers in the community to help respond to rising need for help related to COVID-19.
While we have a winding road ahead of us in terms of helping our community stabilize during this difficult time, we and our colleagues in Housing and Human Services are committed to being compassionate and trusted partners for every one of our residents who have been impacted by the pandemic. Reach out to us, even if you don’t know what you need. We want to reach those who have been impacted due to racial inequities, especially our Latinx community members.
--Boulder County Community Services Director Robin Bohannan
Critical Needs Addressed
A few indicators of the increases in need in Boulder County during the first five months of COVID-19:
- The Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services has served over 75,000 residents.
- The Boulder County Community Services Department’s Workforce Boulder County program has helped nearly 20,000 new customers, receiving more than 28,000 new unemployment insurance claims and over 7,000 calls.
- Community partner organizations have reported a doubling or tripling in need for help with housing and food.
- The county’s COVID-19 resources pages (in English and Spanish) have received over 50,000 views with an average of over four minutes spent per visit.
For comprehensive information about services and resources available from Boulder County and its extensive network of community partners, visit boco.org//COVID-19Resources (English) or boco.org/COVID-19Recursos (Spanish).
Click on images below to open the PDFs in your browser.