LOUISVILLE, Colo. — After the Marshall Fire, people donated more than $30 million dollars to the Boulder Community Fund to help fire survivors. The fund gave out $7 million right away, directly to people impacted.
On Monday night, they announced details about how much of the rest of the money will be distributed.
The majority of the fund, $20 million of it, is allocated to homeowners who are rebuilding. For each home rebuilt, owners are eligible for $20,000, and that number could be higher depending on how many kids the owners have, and other factors.
Tatiana Hernandez, the Community Foundation's CEO, announced $1.4 million will go toward recovery navigation. Of that money, $400,000 comes from Boulder County.
Together, the foundation and the county are contracting with a non-profit to hire and train people who will be a liaison to fire survivors to connect them with the resources they are eligible for.
At Monday night's meeting, one person asked why the foundation can't just divvy up the money equally between survivors.
Hernandez said that was only a possibility in the direct aftermath of the disaster.
“What we can’t do is write you a check and have you say I’m going to use this to repair my car and you go to Hawaii, I’m not saying, I’m just saying that is the reality of the situation," said Hernandez. "Our donors took a charitable deduction in giving their money to us, and so now we are now responsible to make sure that the use of those funds is for a charitable purpose."
That extra money for rebuilding won't cover Gilbert Espinoza's insurance gap for his Old Town Superior home that burned, but he's still grateful.
"20 thousand bucks, no that's not gonna be very much," Espinoza laughed. "But it's something see. That's the thing, I think those of us that are at that level, at a struggling level are seeing that $20,000 maybe nothing to anybody else, but it is a lot to us."
Espinoza said this whole process is about trust. He has to trust that the assistance will be there when he needs it, and that the government will come through.
The $20 million allocated for rebuild is based on the assumption that 75% of homes that burned will be rebuilt. The Community Foundation said that is much higher than the national average after disasters, and when they find out exactly who plans to rebuild, they can re-assess the allocation of funds.
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