Denver District 5 | July 2020
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer | District 5
720-337-5555 |   DenverCouncil5@denvergov.org
Chief of Staff: JoyAnn Ruscha | Senior Aide: Logan Fry | Aide: Sara Visser

Dear Neighbors, 

We know that this has been a difficult summer for our entire community, and are so grateful to each and every one of you who are doing everything you can to help stop the spread of coronavirus in Denver.

Unfortunately we are seeing an uptick in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 across the state, as well as in our city. As a result, we wanted to share the following important announcements with you:

  • This week Governor Polis instituted a mandatory mask order in Colorado. Everyone over the age of 10 is required to wear a mask when in public, indoor spaces, unless exempted. Children under the age of three should never wear a mask. For more information, click here.

  • As of Monday, July 13th, Denver City Council moved entirely to a virtual platform. This means that all committees, council meetings, public comment sessions and office hours will be virtual until further notice. All Council committees, public comment sessions and meetings are accessible via Zoom (so you can call in via phone or use a computer to access). Click here for more information on how to access Council online. To ensure access for all, the City & County Building will be open so that the public can watch the meetings and comment in chambers.

  • Denver Public Schools announced yesterday that they will delay the start of the 2020-2021 school year one week. School will now begin Monday, August 24. It will be 100% remote learning until at least September 8th. If your family needs an internet hotspot or computer, they will be available the week of August 17th. Find out more information here.

We are working hard to find ways to support you and your family during this difficult time. Please read on for updates on some of the changes that have been made this summer to City and State services, based on feedback we have received from community members. Also below are links to support services for residents, businesses, and volunteers, as well as mental health support services for those who may be struggling right now.

We wish you and your families health and safety. Together we will get through this.

Gratefully,

Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer 
Denver City Council, District 5  
Summer Updates to City & State Services

Things are changing day-to-day, as leaders use the most up to date data to make decisions about whether to reopen services, or keep services open. And as those decisions change, we try to anticipate the consequences of those decisions and support our community accordingly.

Here are links to information and resources regarding some of the services and support we have added this summer, and some of the ways we're working to better support the community as a result of feedback we've heard from you:

As a general starting place for more information, please go to the City's Recovery Guidance & Planning page .

To locate local businesses that are open and operating during this time, head to www.WeAreOpenDenver.com .

City Council has added funds and changed qualification requirements to our Temporary Rental and Utility Assistance (TRUA) Program to better serve the community. Find out more here.

City Council has worked in partnership with the Mayor's Office and several community service providers to create and fund the Left Behind Workers Fund , for those who do not qualify for Federal support. Find out more here.

The City of Denver has also created a temporary Mortgage Assistance Fund, to support those who would qualify for the TRUA program but need assistance with their mortgages. Find out more here.

The City of Denver has created the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund to help assist nonprofit organizations that are struggling during this time through minigrants. The program is temporarily on hold due to administrative issues but you can find out more here .

The City of Denver has set up the Economic Relief and Recovery Council , and worked to support our small businesses by allowing the temporary outdoor expansion of Restaurants and Bars. Click here to find out more or apply to this program.

The City of Denver is providing free COVID-19 drive-through testing for all Denver residents at the Pepsi Center. It is open daily at 8 am and closes either at 4:30 pm or after 2000 tests are administered, whichever comes first. You can preregister for a test by clicking here. Tests are sent to LabCore and usually take 3-5 days for results. Due to the rise in the number of tests, we hear that results are taking significantly longer and we are looking into this.

The State of Colorado has created its own Rental Assistance Program to assist landlords with supporting their residents who need help paying rent. Find out more here .
Support Information for Businesses

Much of the economic recovery response for businesses is coming from a coordinated effort between the State and Federal governments, with additional support from the City. For the most up-to-date information on support services offered by the City of Denver, please go to our COVID-19 response page or call 3-1-1. Here are some additional links that may also be helpful during this time:






Mental & Emotional Health Support
This is an extraordinary situation and you may be feeling like you need additional support. Please know that you’re not alone. If you need immediate assistance call 911 , otherwise, here are additional resources to support your mental and emotional health:


  • Call CO Help at 1.877.462.2911 to speak with the local public health department

Since You're at Home...Take the 2020 Census

Having an accurate understanding of Denver’s population and its diverse communities will help us plan for the next decade. You might find answering questions about yourself tedious or unimportant in these challenging times, but we want to know about you in order to secure you and your community adequate services in the future. As just one example, having an accurate census count ensures we get our full share of federal stimulus money - which is over $8000 per person.
Take the 2020 Census Now!