Carbondale mayor column: Community resources available to help with financial assistance
Dear Carbondale community,
The State of Colorado made important and necessary decisions to limit the spread of COVID-19 by enacting a stay-at-home Executive Order, which has and will continue to significantly impact our economy. The Town of Carbondale stands with the members of our community who are impacted by these policies, including those who have lost their income. We recognize that many people may be unable to pay rent and utilities and are afraid of losing their homes or businesses.
This is the time to communicate with your landlord or your mortgage lender if you anticipate problems paying your rent or mortgage. I advise property owners to talk directly to their lenders and mortgage companies to request relief. If you are a landlord or property manager with renters, I respectfully request compassion in this time of sudden uncertainty. I urge landlords to pass on any financial relief from lenders or government relief funds to their renters.
Please be assured that, during this time of crisis, while the eviction process has not been suspended, at least until June 1, 2020 court proceedings for evictions have been suspended by the 9th Judicial District, unless there is a threat to public safety. No law enforcement agency, including Garfield County Sheriff or Carbondale Police Department, will facilitate evictions without a legal order from the 9th Judicial District. If you receive any kind of eviction paperwork, seek legal advice.
We are fortunate to live in a community where our advocacy efforts are not in vain. The broader Roaring Fork Valley community rallied around the need to suspend evictions and Judge James Berkley Boyd, Chief Justice of the Colorado 9th Judicial District responded. Through my conversation with Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, I have confidence that his priorities align with the communities to provide a much-needed respite for struggling renters during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have also spoken to many property managers and landlords to request understanding and flexibility and I’m pleased to report that the ones I spoke with didn’t need any convincing. While the Town has no jurisdiction over evictions or rent relief, we will continue to advocate for the community.
Attached is a snapshot of resources recently compiled by The Carbondale Emergency Task Force (CETF), and I encourage everyone to use these resources if they are in need. This list of resources will be updated regularly and available on the CETF website.
We are in this situation together and will help each other through this crisis. We are Carbondale Strong.
Rental and Financial Relief Resources for Renters, Homeowners, and Business Owners
The Carbondale Emergency Task Force (CETF) is working to ensure that all members of our community have access to all forms of assistance. Financial assistance for individuals, including rent assistance, is being provided through the following organizations:
- Garfield County Human Services: http://www.garfield-county.com/human-services/
- Aspen Community Foundation: http://www.aspencommunityfoundation.org
- Catholic Charities: http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org
Legal advice can be sought through the following local organization:
- Alpine Legal Services: http://www.alpinelegalservices.org
All businesses, including non-profit organizations, and self-employed individuals are encouraged to explore financial assistance options with the following organizations:
- Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: For employees, including the self-employed, to file unemployment claims. http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdle/unemployment
- Carbondale Chamber of Commerce: for local financial resources, including volunteer financial experts available to offer consulting services free of charge: http://www.carbondale.com
- The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network: http://www.coloradosbdc.org
- The U.S. Small Business Administration: http://www.sba.gov
- Industry trade associations may be able to help you access specific financial resources and advocacy, for instance the Colorado Restaurant Association: http://www.corestaurant.org
The community is encouraged to visit the Carbondale Emergency Task Force (CETF) webpage at for all public announcements and updates from the task force in English and Spanish, as well as news alerts and direction on public health from the state and county.
Dan Richardson is the mayor of the town of Carbondale.
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