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March 23, 2020 Letter from the Colorado Department of Human Services: Hunger and Child Care

Request for Applications for the 
Colorado COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund 
 

Dear Partners,

First off, I just want to say how incredibly impressed I am by the dedication, resilience and innovation that I am seeing in light of our current context. The news is sobering, but doesn’t highlight the incredible assets we have in our state, our people. As you know, we sent out a survey last week to try to understand the assets and needs of our network. You can read an assessment of the survey. Not surprisingly, one of the largest needs identified in the survey was needing additional financial resource.
 
To that end, we have partnered with a number of local funders to respond to these needs, and are pleased to share that our Request for Applications for the Colorado COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund is now live. More information in both English and Spanish, including the application, can be found on our website. Please note that the turnaround for this RFA is quick, with the first wave of applications due on Wednesday, March 25th at 5 p.m. in order to be part of this weeks’ funding cycle. The current plan is for the applications to open each week on Monday and close on Wednesday. We know that needs will continue to evolve and change, and we want to be as responsive as we are able.
 
We are also working on addressing the remainder of the findings, including planning a webinar on emergency response structures with CDHS, helping understand what coalitions around the state are doing and sharing updates on state programs as they find flexibilities due to the current crisis. We will also be working to match assets with needs identified in the survey. Please feel free to contact me directly (303-974-8427) if we can be helpful to you and thank you again for everything you do.
 
In partnership,
Erin


 

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Childcare Needs Survey 

Governor Polis called together a group of early childhood providers, advocacy groups, school districts and foundations to partner with the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to establish a system of emergency child care centers for our emergency and essential workers — called the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative. Many in the Blueprint partnership have expressed concerns about resources that can help their employees continue to work during this time. 

If you or your organization is providing critical front-line response services, such as health professionals, health facilities staff, emergency responders, public safety, etc., the Collaborative would like to connect you to child care providers if your current provider is not able to continue service.   

The Collaborative is surveying families to understand the need for these services and they are also identifying current and “emergency” providers. To register for this child care program, please open this Google Doc and click on the highlighted survey link, or dial 2-1-1 for additional information.

Every effort will be made to match those who need care with a licensed facility near them that has available capacity to help. We are working to implement expanded subsidies and/or sliding scales for families who cannot afford child care but are needed to address the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Michael Johnston at mjohnston@garycommunity.org or Steffanie Clothier at sclothier@garycommunity.org. They are taking the lead on community engagement for the Collaborative.

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