The Cheyenne Police Department has wrapped up a program that was intended to help the homeless get access to shelter and other services, and keep them out of jail.
The Homeless Empowerment Action Team, or HEAT, consisted of police officers and Robin Zimmer, the director of the COMEA homeless shelter. They went around town, informed homeless people of laws about loitering and panhandling, and told them about available social services.
But most individuals declined shelter or other help. Zimmer says that’s because many were alcoholics, and the only shelter in town is dry.
Last summer, the Cheyenne Police Department launched the Homeless Empowerment Action Team, or HEAT. Police officers and the director of Cheyenne’s homeless shelter, the COMEA House, went around town and talked with homeless people.
They made sure homeless individuals knew the rules regarding trespassing, panhandling, and public intoxication, and warned them of the penalties for breaking those laws. They also told homeless individuals about services available to them. The goal was to help the homeless get back on their feet, and make them law abiding citizens.