Coloradans are creating mutual aid networks to deal with devastating needs amid COVID-19 |

Coloradans are creating mutual aid networks to deal with devastating needs amid COVID-19

Elise Schmelzer The Denver Post
Grand Junction Mutual Aid volunteers unload boxes of donated food to be distributed at a pop-up food bank in the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley in Grand Junction on Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo by William Woody/Special to The Denver Post)

Since March, thousands of strangers in a Denver Facebook group have worked together to find an apartment for a mom and her 18-month-old who were homeless, deliver medications to people quarantined at home and feed hundreds of people who didn’t have enough to eat.

The group, Help Needed in Denver Metro COVID-19, is one of several mutual aid networks created by Coloradans to help communities weather the crushing need and instability created by the coronavirus pandemic.

For months, the couple who run the page, Jennifer and Kane Lisiecki, flitted about the metro area delivering groceries and picking up supplies to distribute. Their spare room turned into a storage depot for boxes of Pediasure, canned food and diapers.

Eight months in, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt and endanger Coloradans’ lives. Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans have lost work, a third of the state worries about having enough money to eat, and more than 2,200 people have died. Cases continue to rise, again reaching rates of infection that threaten to overwhelm Colorado’s health care systems.

In the wake of this loss, Coloradans across the state formed mutual aid networks to address people’s needs. The concept is simple: connect people who need something with others in their community who are in a position to help. The networks can be more nimble and tailored than large nonprofit organizations or government programs and are meant to meet needs that aren’t being met by those systems.

Read the full story on the Denver Post website.

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