"The bank is putting up ten-thousand dollars, which the employees can contribute too, people in the community can contribute too and we also have a website so people out of state can even contribute. The ten thousand dollars has already been matched.” - Bill Huppert, First Interstate Bank Regional President
It’s been a little over a month since residents up on budge drive were issued an evacuation order giving them just hours to clear their homes and get out. Many of the residents are back in their homes now, assessing what damage has been done. However, many organizations are coming together to help them pay their bills.
First Interstate Bank Regional President Bill Huppert says, "This is Wyoming, people in Wyoming take care of one another. This is just example of that."
Nearly 60 residents were displaced and close to 200 workers left unemployed after a Jackson landslide forced evacuations of Budge Drive and closed down businesses for nearly a month. "It's just devastating to think when you think about two hundred people unemployed, businesses closed because of this. Sixty families displaced because of this, It's so much bigger than I ever imagined," Huppert said.
Since insurance companies don’t cover the cost or damage of landslides, many of these people are left fronting the bill, but they’re not alone. First Interstate Bank is providing a helping hand.
"The bank is putting up ten-thousand dollars, which the employees can contribute too, people in the community can contribute too and we also have a website so people out of state can even contribute. The ten thousand dollars has already been matched,” Huppert said.
The funds will go to the Jackson Community Resource Center’s emergency fund to help the people displaced and unemployed get back on their feet.
Community Resource Center Director of Development and Marketing Jennifer Lee says, "We help them with whatever their needs may be, so that could range from, they needed housing, a different housing area, they needed storage to be able to store the stuff that was in the house up there, utility bills, food because if you can't cook your spending a lot more on food."
The Resource Center has been helping the residents of Budge Drive for weeks since the slide, draining whatever the center has in savings. So any help is a breath of fresh air. "So we will have going forward money set aside for disasters," Lee said.