An emergency allocation of funds - 50 thousand dollars- for use in getting Natrona County's homeless into shelters this winter is having a notable impact just three days after Casper City Council ok’d the expenditure.

“ Twenty-three individuals that would have been, either sleeping in their cars or on the street, are now sleeping in motels. That constitutes four women, six men and thirteen children.”

Brenda Eickhoff-Johnson runs Community Action Partnership of Natrona County.  She was offered the emergency funds February 24th  and had them in hand for use in a voucher system five days later- Lightening fast for a government entity. The 50 thousand goes out as vouchers for use in local motels and hotels. That’s because space in drop in shelters is severely limited in Casper and waiting lists for transitional housing are typically months long. Johnson says, surprisingly, single men have a tough time; with women, children, and families taking priority.

Eickhoff-Johnson shares background stories that illustrate the urgency; The first is of a single man living in his truck.

“Which in and of itself is not unusual. The sad part of about this story is, he’s a gentleman who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and really has months to live and has been spending those in his truck. Another gentleman we had come in is a victim of frostbite- lost some fingers- and was in the hospital for a month and really came out with no place to stay and no place to live.”

She says vouchers also went to two single moms each with five kids.

The emergency “City Goals Fund “ dollars are good through the end of April at which point CAP will need to return any leftovers.

But the need for housing and services to the homeless continue.

Eickhoff-Johnson has put her requests in for One-cent number 14 projects. We’ll hear a report on those proposals in coming days.