Downtown Durham Inc

Through Durham One Fund, city and local organizations begin distributing funds raised to help victims of downtown explosion

Durham, N.C. – In the aftermath of the explosion in downtown Durham, the community banded together to raise thousands of dollars through grassroots fundraising efforts to support those affected. To help facilitate the organized and equitable collection and distribution of those funds, the United Way of the Greater Triangle collaborated with the City of Durham, Durham County, the Triangle Community Foundation and community nonprofit organizations to create the Durham One Fund to serve as a centralized resource.

“The Durham One Fund has collected more than $240,000 to date,” said Eric Guckian, President and CEO of the United Way of the Greater Triangle. “We’re grateful to our funding partners Crown Castle and the Durham Bulls, and we’re humbled by the support of Durham’s residents and small businesses.

“With the help of our community partners who serve on the Durham One Fund Advisory Committee, we have created the following guidelines so that we can begin getting these funds to the businesses, residents and organizations that need financial support.”

  • Business owners who have experienced economic injury related to their business (e.g. revenue loss and/or property damage), should apply for financial assistance through the City of Durham’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) by contacting Brian Smith at
  • Individuals who have been affected by the explosion should apply for financial assistance through Upstream Works Collaborative (the 501(c)(3) nonprofit behind local resident Rebekah Miel’s fundraising effort, Bull City Rebuilds). Funds are available to help with costs associated with housing safety and repair/displacement; lost or reduced wages; support for a deceased family member; or support for medical costs incurred, e.g. hospital stays, outpatient services, physical therapy and mental health support. Individuals who need services rather than financial support should call the United Way’s 211 line.
  • Nonprofit or governmental entities that are experiencing an unbudgeted, unforeseen increase in critical services as a result of the Durham explosion should request funding directly from the Durham One Fund by contacting United Way of the Greater Triangle Program Leader, Nick Allen. Allen can be reached at

Though formed in response to the explosion, the Durham One Fund will accept donations for nonprofit organizations providing short and long-term human services for residents of Durham County in response to future natural and/or large-scale disasters as well. Its Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from the Triangle Community Foundation, the City of Durham, Durham County, Upstream Works Collaborative, the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Durham, Inc., Discover Durham and the United Way of the Greater Triangle.

“It has been an honor working in collaboration with these entities to create the Durham One Fund, and it will be great to see those affected by this tragedy getting the financial support they need” said Advisory Committee member Leslie O’Connor, Durham County Emergency Management Division Chief. “We have worked to ensure that Durham has a plan and is prepared for any catastrophic events that may occur, and a funding resource like the Durham One Fund is an important part of that plan.”

With a mission to eradicate poverty and increase social mobility through the power of partnerships, United Way of the Greater Triangle strives to provide solutions to the clear and evident needs of vulnerable populations with a path towards meeting those needs by working with a wide network of partners. United Way’s Durham One Fund is rooted in the clear and evident needs created through this unforeseen disaster within the Durham community and our desire to help the individuals and families impacted stabilize and re-build their lives.

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