There are just over a thousand homeless people in Wyoming, according to the state's annual survey. That's about the same as last year. On the day of the survey, around eighty percent of those people were in shelters. The other twenty percent were living outside or in a place not meant for human habitation, like a car or an abandoned building.
Most were in Cheyenne, Casper, and Gillette, with a rising homeless population in Laramie.
Since 2010, homelessness has gone down in most places in the U.S., but not in Wyoming. A national report found that in 2013 Wyoming had nearly a thousand homeless people, up 64-percent in that time. About a quarter of those people are chronically homeless. Now, Casper wants to try a program focused on helping those individuals. Wyoming Public Radio’s Irina Zhorov reports.
Governor Matt Mead is hoping to create a ten-year plan to address homelessness in Wyoming. As a first step in the process, the Department of Family Services has appointed a homelessness coordinator. Her name is Brenda Lyttle.
Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden spoke with her. Lyttle says her first task will be to identify what services are already available to homeless individuals in different communities in Wyoming.