VA Awards Wyoming $3.4 Million In Grants

Aug 13, 2014

The Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded two grants of $1.4 million and $2 million to Wyoming to prevent homelessness among veterans.

Announced Monday, the grant will fund services provided by the Southwest Wyoming Recovery Access Program, or SW-WRAP, like housing counseling, legal assistance, temporary financial assistance, and childcare for veterans and their families.

Cathie Hughes, founder and CEO of SW-WRAP, said that making these services visible is one of the biggest challenges.  

Courtesy: SW-WRAP

“These are our residents. These are our neighbors our sisters our brothers our cousins our relatives. These are our family,” she said. “And it’s one step at a time so I think the largest challenge is giving them confidence and giving them hope to know they do now have a safety net.”

About 60 percent of Wyoming veterans who use the program’s services are homeless.

“So those are the ones that are actually living in a place that are not suitable for habitation at any level. So even if one is couch hopping or living with a family or friend, they’re not considered homeless,” said Hughes.

Currently SW-WRAP services reach about 48 percent of Wyoming. The $2 million grant will go to expand services into the rest of Wyoming and into parts of South Dakota, areas that currently have no similar programs. SW-WRAP hopes to reach 605 veteran households by the end of this year.

The grant is part of a $300 million dollar award given to organizations across the country. The funds will reach around 115,000 homeless and at-risk US veterans.