After a natural disaster strikes, groups like the Red Cross set up in tents or gyms where people affected can go to seek help.
But these hubs, called Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs), aren't possible to help communities in the midst of coronavirus, due to social distancing.
“Normally a MARC is a brick and mortar, in-person place where people can go to find assistance — food assistance, economic assistance — in the wake of a disaster,” said Aimée Christensen, the executive director of the Sun Valley Institute. Christensen is organizing the Blaine Recovery Committee that has initial funding from The Spur Foundation.
The new nonprofit is launching a digital version of a MARC. A website in English and Spanish will be a one-stop-shop for community members to get coronavirus-related resources, like online school support and small business assistance. The recovery committee is also developing protocols that will help businesses return to work safely.
The team will also focus on long-term recovery.
“In the fires in the past, our community really came together," Christensen said, "to think what does that future look like and how to continue to build a community."
The Blaine County Commissioners are considering dedicating funds to the recovery committee's work.
Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen
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