Since the end of March, the Blaine County Recovery Committee has partnered with dozens of organizations, community leaders, nonprofits, businesses and health agencies to create a one-stop shop for business, nonprofit and personal recovery from the effects of the coronavirus.
Today, the committee continues to look for needs in the community and to provide resources to fill those needs, which include access to personal protective equipment for businesses and translations into Spanish for non-English speakers. According to Aimée Christensen, who sits on the steering committee for the group, as the surge of the coronavirus has receded in Blaine County, the group has adjusted to concentrate resources where they are most needed.
This week, 400 families that received bags of food from The Hunger Coalition also received a double-sided sheet of information, in English and Spanish, of resources that they can access for mental and physical health, and financial assistance.
Targeted outreach has been critical from the beginning, Christensen said, and by creating a long-term recovery committee in response to the coronavirus, new relationships have been made among organizations to create stronger collaboration and a better sense of the resources available. Currently, the committee is focusing on providing guidance to businesses on how to reopen safely and on financial resources available from county, state and federal agencies.
Christensen said the committee doesn’t want to disband too soon, as there could be additional needs moving forward or a second wave of the pandemic hitting the county.
“We want to continue to be a way for our committee to stay on top of needs and address them,” she said.
Recently, the committee partnered with Visit Sun Valley and The Chamber of Hailey & the Wood River Valley to create “Mindfulness in the Mountains,” guidelines for the community and visitors to follow as the cities continue to reopen.
“The spirit of Sun Valley is calling you to rise to the occasion,” the document on the Visit Sun Valley website states. “The world has asked us to adapt to stay healthy and now we are asking you to take one more step to preserve what we love.”
The guidelines ask residents and visitors to “commit to patience, kindness, understanding, and knowledge as we venture out to write a new normal way of living in the mountains.”
They include now well-known guidance such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distance as well as tips on preventing COVID-19 spread while involved in recreation activities.
Christensen said businesses and organizations continue to look at the pandemic as an opportunity for growth and self-improvement as a community. She said that thanks to the information and resources shared through the recovery committee, community members are becoming better advocates and more knowledgeable on the vast array of resources available.
For more information on the recovery committee and resources available in the community, visit blainerecovery.org