Next fall, the Strong Families Action Team in Laramie County is hoping to open a new homeless shelter for young people. Action Team Co-Chairman Terry Williams said the goal is to provide shelter for K-12 students who either have nowhere to live or have an unsafe home life.
During a recent homeless count in Cheyenne, 39 unaccompanied K-12 students were identified. When surveyed, Williams said they wanted somewhere to live, so that they can complete their education.
The Action Team’s pilot program has worked to provide better immediate care for unaccompanied youth, like paying for hotel rooms for a night or two while they connect the student with a social worker. The organization also provides stipends for families who have taken a student into their care.
But Williams said the 10-bedroom shelter will provide a more long-term response to the problem.
“It’s just the community responding to what we see as a critical need in terms of helping these kids being able to move forward in terms of taking the next step to building a future,” said Williams.
William said they are hoping the shelter will improve the 25 percent graduation rate for unaccompanied youth in Wyoming.