MEDIA CONTACT: Samuel Landercasper - Economic Assistance Manager - 970-309-3474
In the two months since the COVID-19 community shutdown began nearly 3,000 individuals and 500 children under 18 have received emergency funding from Pitkin County’s COVID Relief Program. Now that the community is gradually reopening, and many are resuming either full or part-time employment, funding will focus on those who continue to be unable to work or collect unemployment and who remain truly in need of emergency relief.
“We are gratified that we were able to assist so many people in our community who suddenly lost their jobs but we’re seeing a gradual turnaround now. Many people are either getting back to work or have successfully applied for and received state unemployment and other benefits. We need to reserve the funding we have left for the hardest hit individuals and families,” said Director of Human Services, Nan Sundeen.
The nearly $2.3 million in emergency relief that has been distributed locally bridged the gap by helping local families and individuals put food on the table, pay for transportation, shelter, utilities, and household supplies. Since then many have begun receiving federal stimulus checks, unemployment, Low Income Energy Assistance (LEAP), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP).
“Even though we understand that many are still not earning what they were before the shutdown, the state and federal assistance programs are designed to help them get by. Many who have begun receiving other assistance are no longer eligible for our local emergency relief funds,” Sundeen said.
Applying for Pitkin County economic assistance going forward will revert back to the long-standing Human Services case management system. This system was designed to assist applicants back to self-sufficiency by helping them navigate barriers to economic sustainability over the long haul.
In order to be considered eligible for assistance the following criteria must be met:
Reside within the borders of Pitkin County,
Have been negatively impacted by Covid-19,
Have been working prior to 3/14/2020,
Have income and/or resources that are less than your allowable monthly expenses,
Applicants will be ineligible for assistance if any of the following is true:
Reside outside the borders of Pitkin County
Emergency requiring assistance is not related to impacts of Covid-19,
Employment/income ended prior to 3/14/20 or was not related to Covid-19,
Income and/or resources are sufficient to meet your household’s monthly allowable expenses,
Households cannot demonstrate the ability to become self-sufficient within a reasonable amount of time.
All income will be verified using electronic databases and you may be required to provide documents including bank statements, lease agreements, mortgage statements, and/or employment verification letters.
Pitkin County Economic Assistance applications are available at www.pitkincounty.com/economicservices. Applications need to be dropped off or mailed to Pitkin County Economic Assistance, 0405 Castle Creek Road, Aspen, CO 81611. More information is available by calling (970) 920-5244.