W hat would you do if you didn’t have the resources to secure a place to live?

What if you and your family were facing a life of homelessness?

In January 2012, the Wyoming Statewide Continuum of Care conducted a point-in-time count and found more than 1,800 people in Wyoming faced that reality.

On May 17, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead made an announcement addressing homelessness in Wyoming, signifying that the state of Wyoming will be taking a coordinating role in addressing the rising homeless population in the state.

On July 3, Mead tapped the Wyoming Department of Family Services to manage the state’s homeless services and collaborate with the Wyoming Continuum of Care statewide in an effort to more efficiently coordinate existing services.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development allocates funds each year to Wyoming for housing the homeless, but because a lack of coordinated services and competing priorities, the state Continuum of Care only received $340,000 of the $758,634 designated for Wyoming from HUD.

Mead’s announcement is testament to his leadership and vision of helping those individuals and families who are most vulnerable and have fallen on hard times and have become homeless.

HUD plays an important role in not just housing the homeless, but in providing a vast amount of other resources and funding for housing and community development programs throughout Wyoming.

Just last year HUD funded a cumulative total of $7.7 million for the development of Sunshine Apartments in Casper, with Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds. Each year through the Department’s Community Planning and Development Office, we fund $3.4 million in Community Development Block Grant funding to the state of Wyoming and the cities of Casper and Cheyenne and another $3.5 million in HOME funding to Wyoming Community Development Authority.

The Department funds a total of more than $39 million in multi-family housing assistance throughout the state and nearly $14 million in public housing assistance in Wyoming. Additionally, we provide $3.7 million in housing assistance to the Wyoming tribes yearly. We have an additional investment of $2.5 billion in FHA single family mortgage insurance in force and another $91.5 million in multi-family mortgage insurance in place. HUD’s investment in Wyoming totals $2.7 billion.

Partnerships within the state are at the heart of it all. Our work is oftentimes behind the scenes working with nonprofits, local and state government, but HUD plays a critical role for the residents of Wyoming in order to deliver support and resources as leverage for community and housing development. Together, we target our resources and our efforts to move homeless families and individuals to permanent housing.

As we embark on this new opportunity to foster real and lasting change in Wyoming’s affordable housing sector and homelessness initiatives, we are excited the governor has announced his commitment take a leadership role in coordinating homeless services. We look forward to continuing to partner with the governor and the state in helping create new realities for individuals and their families all across Wyoming.

n Rick M. Garcia is the HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator.

Rick M. Garcia is the HUD Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator.

(7) comments

side oiler
side oiler

One reason there are so many homeless folks is due to the fact that greedy banks foreclosed on many of their homes,the very homes the greedy banks allowed phony loans on.Next,look at the incessant greed in the rental market,especially in Wyoming where average wages have not kept up with the greed.Even Ray Charles can see that.

wyotruth
wyotruth

The idiotic sequester forced on us by the likes of Enzi, Barrasso, and Lummis also means no new federal funding to fight homelessness in WYO. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Kool Kat
Kool Kat

My neighbor collects unwanted foods and donations, and he'd had the opportunity to meet homeless folks. Much to his amazement, his findings revealed that many had hitch-hiked from surrounding states cause of a lack of resources to support the homes they came from.
Therefore, it does not amaze me that Wyoming has a growing population of homeless, as most come to Wyoming for its hospitality. Wyoming's growing population problem of homeless indicates the growing dysfunction toward budgeting of other states around Wyoming.

Kudos to Wyoming for showing mercy to the many more transients that swell Wyoming homeless shelters.

wyotruth
wyotruth

I wish you were right, but Wyoming lags behind almost every state in state government funding for homeless programs. Governor Mead is at least making the issue something of a priority. Now we need actions to match the rhetoric.

chris89
chris89

Government housing is another good intention gone horribly wrong.

Rick thinks government housing is a good thing, that it makes a difference and is a useful tool in the battle against homelessness? It could be , if it wasn't just another re-distribution program. It often makes things worse instead of better. I'm not talking about the eighty-year old widow who can't afford a place to live. I'm talking about the twenty-something with four kids, each from a different dad or maybe only two dads. Yes, that is the primary type of recipient; the one that never has to be responsible, because the government is there to help. Oh, and homelessness...really? Does Rick know any of those homeless? If he did then he would know that ninety-percent of them are substance abusers. He's going to use our money, so those who choose substances over responsibility can get a good night's sleep in their own-tax payer funded--home.

If you want to see how wonderful these programs work, take a trip to California. But not the tourist areas. Come see the rest of California where a large part of the over 15 trillion dollars already spent in the war on poverty has been spent, then tell me how much these programs help. These programs destroy people, where the government has been "helping", the rot in these communities is beyond all recall. You don't have to be a citizen to get some of our government's goodness--almost seems like this rot is being intentionally perpetuated.

Don't forget, Rick get's a big government check, probably doesn't pay for his transportation, and has a fair amount of power. Consequently, he thinks himself superior and thereby can go around like Robin Hood showering the poor (yet, potential voters) with gifts from the lord and savior government. All while working in close cooperation with our State leaders.

He isn't Robin hood. He is another, big government, sharp-dressed, bureaucrat who's entire purpose in life revolves around taking from you to give to someone else. Remember, free is never free and anything you get from the government was taken from someone else. Government help comes at a high price.

Good luck Wyoming, you are going to need it.........

thehousemouse
thehousemouse

im from chicago and you know what the projects are? well thats huds idea of heaven. and bed bugs roaches and rats all call these types of housing home. if one person get sick so does everyone else who lives in these rat traps and bug infested buildings get. they take hud money spend it on these monstrocities, then when the money runs out so does maintenance. They fall into disrepair within 5 years of being built. Call it what you will but smarth growth/ sustainble development and the un all have a role in in our country and these fools continue to fund our own demise. huid money is still tax payers dollars no matter how its funneled down the line.

sandsoftime
sandsoftime

I have to agree with thehousemouse and chris89! I started to read this article and became nauseous. I began writing down the Fed. Govt. programs involved, at 4 I stopped and then I started to add the "monies" spent and put my pencil down. The US did not have an organized "welfare program" until President FDR established the New Deal Act during the Great Depression. Even then his idea was to help folks get back on their feet through work programs like the CCC. OPEN your EYES folks and study our history .... in fact I'd like to take a look at pay stubs from the 1930's to now.
The Social Security Act of 1935 and then the Fair labor Standards Act of 1938, all brought to us by our Federal Government in an attempt to "help"? All of these were established during FDR's reign as President.
Take a look at how these 2 programs have "grown" while our paychecks have "gone south".
Ideas and programs that have since been established and promoted by our Federal Govt., those ideas and programs not based on our "Declaration of Independence" signed July 4th, 1776, have put US Citizens into the hands of the Federal Government. Almost 240 years later here we are ........ HELLO, WAKE UP, GET A CLUE.
Now we have Obama in conversation with Putin, who in my opinion is another Stalin. REALLY?!

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