A homeless task force has found that Laramie has 124 homeless people and no homeless shelters. United Way of Albany County Executive Director Paul Heimer says there are programs that address homelessness in the city but they’re targeted to specific populations, for example domestic violence victims.
“But there was no kind of traditional homeless shelter. Our policy seemed to be a bus ticket out of town and a motel room for a short stay if you were lucky,” says Heimer.
He says many people’s need aren’t met.
“These are folks who need some sort of temporary place to live in order to help them get back on their feet, and temporary could mean anything from a couple of days to months depending upon their situation,” says Heimer. “And then we can get them reintegrated into mainstream society.”
The survey that looked at Laramie’s homeless population was done in January, but Heimer suspects there are more homeless people in town than were found in the dead of winter. He also says there are more people that don’t fit the survey’s strict definition of homelessness. The group will do another survey in the summer. Heimer says Laramie would benefit from a 15-bed homeless shelter.