When the Community Foundation celebrated 20 years of philanthropic leadership in 2009, rather than holding an Anniversary Gala we established the Economic Response Initiative (ERI) to support local nonprofits addressing the critical needs of hunger, housing, safety, unemployment, healthcare and emergency financial assistance in Jackson Hole. By the end of 2011, over $520,000 had been raised to mitigate the devastating effects of the economic crisis, and Jackson organizations had received $431,060. The Community Foundation is committed to continuing to provide emergency funding to nonprofits whenever unforeseen situations arise and funding is needed immediately.
Community Resource Center – Emergency Aid for Basic Needs, $30,000:
Long-time valley residents in desperate situations are seeking assistance from the Community Resource Center in greater numbers. Having exhausted their financial resources and in many cases facing eviction or foreclosure, they are struggling to meet basic needs and are forgoing timely, preventative healthcare. As a result, some are now also facing expensive medical emergencies. Funds will provide medical and dental care, medications, utilities and housing to help members of our community endure these difficult times.
El Puente—Emergency Dental Fund, $2,000:
With unemployment and underemployment still high among Teton County’s labor force, many families cannot afford basic medical care. One area in which the need is most critical is adult urgent dental care, typically acute infections that are not only very painful but can also lead to additional medical problems and higher associated costs. Economic Response Initiative funds will provide dental care for 10-12 patients who would otherwise be unable to see a dentist to receive the treatment
Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center—Emergency Funding for Mental Health Response, $15,000:
Due to a steep increase in demand for mental health services coupled with budget cuts over the last three years, the Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center is no longer able to respond to critical requests for care except in emergencies. Collectively, funding reductions are equivalent to compensation for three full time therapists, leaving JHCCC highly understaffed. Money from the Economic Response Initiative will help fund salary and benefits for a full time therapist on a one-time, emergency basis while JHCCC staff and Board develop a more permanent financial strategy to address this need.
St. John’s Medical Center Foundation and El Puente—Prenatal Program, $44,750:
As budgets grow tighter, families are struggling to afford prenatal care. Insufficient healthcare not only leads to life-threatening, but preventable, complications for mother and baby, but also creates a sizeable long-term cost to the community. With funding from the ER Initiative, low income families will have access to the essential care needed to provide mothers and babies with a safe pregnancy and a healthy start.
Teton Youth and Family Services —Summer Activities Scholarship Fund, $49,500:
Many parents will be unable to afford childcare or summer activity programs for their children this year. This ERI grant will fund full and partial scholarships for various summer activities for community children, along with an accompanying awareness campaign and program administration. Van Vleck House staff and the After School Activities Group will provide direction and oversight.
Community Resource Center & Latino Resource Center—Housing Assistance, $25,000:
Due to the less than average snowfall, many workers lost their seasonal jobs earlier than usual this year and do not expect to find employment again until May. In just two months, the Community Resource Center distributed over $30,000 to local families in need, including 28 Latino families. A grant from the ER Initiative will ensure that the Latino Resource Center and the Community Resource Center can help to keep long-time valley residents in their homes.
Good Samaritan Mission—Feeding the Homeless, $11,250:
With a new director and a new direction, the Good Samaritan Mission is expanding the services offered to the homeless in Jackson. In addition to assisting more men, the shelter will now house women and children in times of need, serve as a link between the valley’s homeless population and other vital social services and increase the number of meals served from 7 to 21 per week. Funding from the ER Initiative will enable the Mission to feed up to 60 people an additional 14 times each week.
Hirschfield Center—Family Advocate Project, $20,000:
The Hirschfield Center for Children is a child advocacy center that coordinates a multi-disciplinary response to serious allegations of child abuse and neglect and engages families before serious issues arise by working with parents and children on a wide range of issues. Thanks to their Family Advocacy Program, the number of children in Teton County who must be removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect is one of the lowest in the state. Funding from the ER Initiative helped the Hirschfield Center for Children continue this vital work.
Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center—Transitional Apartment, $13,460:
Although some options currently exist for people in need of housing, these facilities are not equipped to attend to the needs of someone with a severe mental illness. Due to deep budget cuts last year, the Jackson Hole Community Counseling Center was no longer able to provide an apartment for clients. Economic Response Initiative funds will pay for rent, utilities, furnishings and property oversight in order to provide people with a safe place to regain control of their lives.
Community Foundation of Teton Valley–Economic Response Initiative Challenge Grant, $15,000:
Through a challenge grant, the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole is offering its affiliate support in raising $15,000 for the Idaho organizations wethering the severe ecomomic storms. The Economic Response Initiative of Teton Valley will ensure that struggling families and individuals receive food, healthcare, childcare and other basic services in this time of need and financial hardship.
Community Resource Center–Emergency Response, $30,000:
As the economy worsens and funding dwindles, the demand for services is rising at unprecedented rates. For the first time, many are forced to make gut-wrenching choices between paying for their mortgages or for medical care. The average request for financial assistance rose from $100 in 2008 to $1000 in the 2009. Dollars from the ER Initiative will ensure that the Center is able to continue to provide emergency financial support and to connect people to other health and human service organizations in Jackson.
Community Safety Network—Emergency Childcare, $5,000:
Recently, many Community Safety Network clients have experienced cuts in hours and pay and difficulty reentering the workforce after being stay at home moms for a period. This funding will provide access to stable, quality child care for women escaping abusive relationships, so they may concentrate on achieving self-sufficiency through full-time employment.
El Puente–Access to Healthcare, $7,600:
While many Latino children in Teton County are eligible for Wyoming Medicaid coverage, their parents’ limited English is often a barrier to receiving healthcare. Through this funding, these clients will receive 24 hour a day medical translation services.
Jackson Cupboard–Crisis Outreach, $15,000:
The Jackson Cupboard has seen a dramatic increase in patrons in recent months, resulting in long lines for food. In order to accommodate our community’s growing food needs, the organization must expand its hours of operation. The ER Initiative will help the Cupboard open three days a week, distributing an estimated $60,000 worth of food to those in need.
Presbyterian Church–Community Dinners, $7,500:
The Presbyterian Church currently serves free dinner to approximately 100 people each Wednesday during the school year. As the need increases, the Church expects the number of community members attending each week to double. With a grant from the ER Initiative, the program will continue to serve everyone who walks through the doors all year long.
Senior Center–Friday Feast, $15,000:
Communal dinners feed both body and soul, giving senior citizens the chance to socialize. For the staff, meals are an opportunity to check in and ascertain that seniors are receiving the care that they need. The Friday Feast program invites our community elders to the Center for a free, healthy meal and to spend time with their friends. ER Initiative funding will pay for two feasts per month as well as for vouchers for other free lunches at the Senior Center.
Teton Free Clinic–Primary Medical Care, $20,000:
Every Tuesday night, the Free Clinic provides basic health care to low income, uninsured members of the Jackson community. Often unemployed, these patients rely on the clinic for medical exams, lab work, x-rays, prescriptions and other medical services. With the recent increase in the number of patients, its operating costs are expected to double. This ER Initiative grant will provide the additional funding required to serve all those in need.