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Grant awarded to provide motel stays for Durango’s most vulnerable

Community Compassion Outreach provides assistance to homeless
Frieda Nelson is staying at Motel Durango for at least 14 days thanks to Community Compassion Outreach, which was awarded $10,000 to provide motel rooms and other forms of rental assistance to La Plata County’s homeless population. Nelson, who has lived in Durango for 14 years, has been couch surfing and staying with family. She is considered at risk for contracting the COVID-19 virus. “This is so wonderful because it is painful to sleep on couches,” Nelson said.

Community Compassion Outreach has been awarded $10,000 to provide motel rooms and other forms of rental assistance to members of La Plata County’s homeless population.

The grant made to CCO, which consists of concerned individuals, members of faith groups and other nonprofit groups, was made by the Colorado COVID Relief Fund.

Donna Mae Baukat, CCO executive director, said her group works to provide a continuum of care for homeless people – providing an assessment of their housing needs, advocating for housing assistance for the most vulnerable members of the homeless community, and providing funds for motel stays and other forms of rental assistance like security deposits.

CCO has provided funds for 14-day self-quarantine stays at motels for two people who were staying at the Purple Cliffs homeless camp behind Walmart. Baukat said one of the people provided assistance suffers from cancer and the other person suffers from asthma.

Community Compassion Outreach has been awarded a $10,000 grant to assist the most vulnerable members of La Plata County’s homeless population with motel stays and other forms of rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides helping homeless individuals, Baukat said CCO can also assist people facing homelessness. People who have been furloughed during the COVID-19 pandemic and are having difficulty making rent can apply for assistance from CCO.

“This grant allows us to continue to provide rental assistance and motel room nights to specific vulnerable individuals,” she said. “We can also assist anyone in the workforce who is facing homelessness. They may have been furloughed from their jobs and need assistance with rent. That’s the other part of what we do. We want to prevent homelessness.”

The grant came at an opportune time for CCO. Baukat said the group had just exhausted a $4,465 donation from the River Church that had come in April.

“We knew as this crisis continues, we would need to help other people,” she said.

Donations to assist CCO’s work with the homeless can be made on the group’s website, communitycompassionoutreach.com.

parmijo@durangoherald.com

Jun 19, 2021
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