The Casper social services organization NOWCAP Casper is struggling to stay open, after Natrona County Commissioners signaled they would not support its bid for a federal contract to house former prisoners.
For decades NOWCAP has offered housing and structured work services to people with severe disabilities in the Casper area. But last year the state cut much of its funding to NOWCAP, and other service providers that employ people with disabilities in in-house companies known as “sheltered workshops.” NOWCAP Casper Assistant Director J.D. Wolfe says now his organization needs the new contract to house former inmates in order to stay afloat. "This time last year we were sitting at a $300,000 dollar budget surplus," Wolfe said. "But right now, we are $500,000 in debt."
But Natrona County School officials say that NOWCAP’s facilities are too close to area schools, like Kelly Walsh High, for the organization to safely house recently released prisoners.
JD Wolfe with NOWCAP says if they don’t get the contract to house the inmates the organization may go out of business.