(PHOTOS) County Building Donation Helps Community Services Board Expand Services

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Gillette, Wyo. – At its open house on Tuesday, the Community Services Board was able to show the community how it has been able to expand its pantry and housing services for the poor in northeast Wyoming.

Community Services Council ERAP Specialist Karen Archer (left) and ERAP Administrative Assistant Sonya VanNortrick greet open house guests and brief them on Council services on August 9. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

The nonprofit, located at 114 South 4-J Road in Gillette, hosted tours of its expanded space for supplies and living space. Food supplies were previously confined to whatever office space the Council had, and the upper level of the emergency homeless shelter was storage space, executive director Mikel Scott said. She said Campbell County donated what was once its Weed and Pest Building to the Council, and the Council rearranged its use of building space accordingly. The Council moved its weatherization services facility to the old county building and moved its pantry to its old weatherization building.

The Council converted the space from its weatherization program into its pantry. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Towards the end of May, the Council was able to start housing an additional 15 people, she said. The expanded pantry opened on June 13, according to the council’s website.

Council Executive Director Mikel Scott celebrates the grand opening of the expanded space for members of the homeless community. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

With the additional space in the emergency homeless shelter, the Council has been better able to provide individuals and families with some privacy and independence and to have more space. The upper level now offers four bunk bedrooms, a kitchenette and space for residents to do their homework or work remotely.

Community Services Board staff check a toaster in the upstairs kitchenette during the August 9 open house. (Mary Stroka / County 17)

Scott said people living in the homeless shelter may have been working two low-paying jobs and still not being able to earn a living. She said staff are trying to facilitate the shortest and most comfortable stays possible for people in dire straits.

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The reception of the emergency homeless shelter. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Scott said some city council members and county commissioners were among the council visitors on Tuesday. Staff informed visitors of the Council’s services and programs, which include Seconds on the Avenue, emergency medical and dental assistance, Del Mar apartments, homeless shelter, soup kitchen and emergency assistance. of domestic violence.

The Weatherization Program, which receives funding from the Department of Energy and the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program, helps people stay healthy and safe in their homes by providing fire alarms and shower vents, dealing with gas leaks and repairing faulty heaters.

The upper floor of the emergency homeless shelter retains storage space. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

People who need pantry services can fill out a form at the council’s administrative center to see if they qualify. They will have to declare their level of income.

They can shop in the pantry to select the supplies they need. Items available include essentials like toiletries, dish soap, diapers, and toilet paper, as well as specialty items like disposable cake trays.

The Council Pantry now occupies its own building. (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Pantry quantity limits depend on family size. Some of the diapers are available through a grant program, which requires individuals to fill out a separate form.

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The Homeless Emergency Shelter is located at 114 S 4-J Road, (Mary Stroka/County 17)

Scott said the Council’s main need right now is funding. Monthly donations, even $5 or $10, would make a big difference, as some stability in incoming funding helps staff plan, keep jobs, and apply for grants. Grants tend to require matching funds.

Scott said the Council also needs winter gear, which staff will store until the first snowfall brings tons of calls from families in need of winter gear, especially for their children.

She said it would also be helpful if someone could categorize the approximately 100 calls the Council receives daily to improve needs assessments.

Although the Council also accepts individual food donations, it is more economical for the Council to purchase food through monetary donations since it is able to purchase food at cheaper rates, said Scott.

Residents can store personal food in a kitchen at the emergency homeless shelter. (Mary Stroka/County 17)
The emergency homeless shelter also has bedrooms on the first floor. (Mary Stroka/County 17)


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