GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – The West Slope Colorado Oil & Gas Association donated $4,000 to a local effort, which aims to put a system in place to better serve the needs of Grand Valley residents during this pandemic.

Friday KREX 5 reported on fundraising efforts by local faith-based groups aiming to purchase software that would connect local agencies and non-profits to specific needs in the community.

Friday evening COGA reached out to organizers with the donation, allowing the project to move forward and giving Grand Valley residents a system to rely on.

“All the food banks and churches and all the organizations are gonna be tied together so that people can make one call,” said Senator Ray Scott.

The care portal software streamlines needs and services

“The software is exactly what we needed to make sure that the people that are working hard to serve this community aren’t duplicating efforts and they’re not missing people,” said organizer Tyler Riehl

The software was originally designed to address the needs of foster children and the groups were working for months to bring it to the Western Slope.

“We’ve been working since last June to bring it here so that we can serve the kids in foster care, but it happened when the COVID virus came about that we decided to fast track it and raise the money to be able to do this,” said Janet Rowland, an organizer with Project 1.27.

The software acts as a sort of dispatch center.

“Online portal allows either case workers from the Department of Human Services or any other agency that services folks, they’re able to put that request right into the care portal which goes directly to all of the churches automatically and they’re able to find someone to help meet that need,” said Rowland.

COGA stepped up at a time when basic needs are high.

“It’s not a typical crisis that we’re all used to and Oil and Gas is always one to answer the call in the time of need and we’re proud and happy to be able to do that again and happy that we have such leadership in the community to really launch such an effort so quickly,” said Chelsie Miera, Executive Director of West Slope COGA.

There are several dozen local organizations involved, but Project 1.27 has stepped up to be the lead agency operating the new software.

Rowland said they plan to start training Monday and hopefully have the system up and running by sometime next week.