MARSHALL FIRE: Funding for the unemployed is now available

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – People who lost their wages due to damage to their business or workplace during the Marshall fire may be able to get financial assistance.

“We see this as top-up funding for people who may not live in the area but whose lives have been affected,” said Tatiana Hernandez, CEO of Community Foundation Boulder County.

One of those affected families is Wayne Shelnutt and his wife whose business, Wayne’s Smoke Shack in Superior, was damaged by the fire.

“The building is still standing but we have sustained heavy damage all around,” Shelnutt said.

The family completely lost their home and are now trying to get back on their feet with no income. We told the family about the new service and Shelnutt said they would apply.

“It can put money in our bank accounts and help us keep paying for everything,” Shelnutt said.

Hernandez said when applying, it’s important to have proof like a recent pay stub or a letter from your employer.

“To date we’ve raised $23.2 million, and I know that sounds like a lot, but to date we’ve also allocated seven of the $23.2 million,” Hernandez said.

According to the statement from Boulder County and the Boulder County Community Foundation:

“As thousands of Boulder County families and individuals struggle to recover from the most destructive wildfire in Colorado history, financial assistance from the Marshall Fire Wildfire Fund extends to those who have been out of work or who have lost tools of their trade due to the fire. Boulder County, through a partnership with Community Foundation Boulder County, will begin accepting applications for assistance beginning Thursday, January 20.

The additional financial assistance follows an initial $5.5 million in aid that was distributed by the Wildfire Fund over the past two weeks to nearly 2,200 households whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the Marshall fire or who were forced to evacuate.

Those deemed eligible to receive this assistance will be contacted by text or phone within seven days of the date of application to collect the funds. Anyone needing in-person assistance with the application can go to the Boulder County Disaster Assistance Center (DAC) at 1755 South Public Road in Lafayette between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily through late Saturday, January 22.

The DAC will then close in-person help as work transitions to longer-term recovery, online services and targeted assistance.

“In addition to the destruction or damage to more than a thousand homes, the Marshall fire also put many people out of work and destroyed some businesses in the area,” said the acting co-director of housing and services. Boulder County Social Services, Paul Jannatpour. “Thanks to the generosity of so many financial donors, the Boulder County Community Foundation was able to move quickly in partnership with us to secure more than $5 million for those who need it most, and this next round of funding is another step forward to help our neighbors with the recovery.

Financial donations are still being sought through the Boulder County Community Foundation Wildfire Fund at www.commfound.org to help Marshall Fire survivors. Those affected by the Marshall Fire are encouraged to visit www.boco.org/MarshallFire and www.boco.org/MarshallFireEspanol to learn more about the recovery process and to find out what resources are available to them.

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