Park County unveiled a support hotline that is now available for families and individuals 24/7. This is in response to the coronavirus impact and to help residents find resources they may need, ranging from food, utility, gas, prescription delivery assistance, and much more.
How did this come about?
Last week more than 30 representatives from government agencies, non-profits, churches and community volunteers met telephonically to identify the new and changing needs of individuals and families in the county and to strategize on how to best meet the needs.
First, food resources, demand and distribution was discussed. Staff in a variety of organizations are seeing people who are new to finding and using community resources, such as food banks. Recent job losses and layoffs have created a new demand for help as well as information.
In addition, there are new programs, such as schools providing food for students, and programs such as the recent food distribution by the Hartsel Community Center and the Hartsel Community Library.
With multiple agencies throughout this very large county, a suggestion was made for a single telephone hotline, a COVID-19 support line, that would be available 24 hours a day.
Thus, from this meeting, the support line was born and launched. Anyone can now call or fill out the contact form on the Park County website, parkco.us, to get information on a variety of resources, such as food, unemployment information, gas, utility assistance and much more.
There was additional discussion about getting resources out to those in need, while following safe social distancing guidelines. For example, many food banks and distribution programs and now doing curbside delivery.
Additional needs are arising, such as people who have lost their jobs and need gas money to get groceries and prescriptions.
Also, many people are inquiring about how to apply for unemployment benefits.
There are many charity agencies throughout the county, and not everyone knows all of the resources. Therefore, this team is also developing a county-wide list of all community resources.
There is also grant money available to meet various needs due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The telephone number for the COVID-19 support line is 719-836-4145 (for Fairplay and surrounding area) or 303-816-5913 (for Bailey and surrounding area)
Another available option is to fill out the contact form on the Park County website.