It's not goodbye forever; it's just goodbye for now.

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Mimi's House, a non-profit organization created to "assist and inspire homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives [and to] provide a warm, family-style environment for Casper youth ages 16-19," is taking a brief hiatus to address a number needs.

That's according to an update from the organization's website, which stated that the Mimi's House Board of Directors announced that "it has been determined to be in the best interest of the youth and community we serve to take this opportunity to put a temporary pause in providing in-home service, and take some time to restructure some administrative needs by readdressing our strategic plan and reevaluating the needs of the community."

For the last six years, Mimi's House has provided a place for homeless teenagers to not just have a roof over their heads, but to actually have a safe place to find themselves. Mimi's House was never just about providing a house; it was always about providing a home - a place where young people can live and learn and grow and feel accepted.

For 6 years, that's what Mimi's House has done, to various degrees of success. But now it is shutting down shop, just for a little while, to restructure itself and come back, hopefully, bigger and better than ever.

"Our purpose in doing this is to ensure that we are best meeting the needs put before us as efficiently and effectively as possible," the website stated. "We are grateful for the partnerships with other organizations that made this possible, and provided the assurance that the few residents we had are well cared for."

Mimi's House is partnering with the Unaccompanied Students Initiative, a like-minded local organization that is focused on 'cementing a promise; building a foundation.'

Like Mimi's House, USI exists "to provide safe, stable housing and to develop support systems for high school students, ages 16 to 20 experiencing homelessness."

Both USI and Mimi's House have a heart for young people, and this partnership will go a long way in providing a safe, stable foundation for both organizations for years to come.

The statement released on the Mimi's House website delved briefly into the reasons for their pause, including the fact that it was their own initial success that inevitably led to 'too much, too soon.' Additionally, the Board of Directors accepted the resignation of its Executive Director, just a year after being hired, so that he could deal with a variety of personal issues.

"There are many circumstances leading up to this decision," the website read. "When we first began there wasn't another organization here equipped to serve in this manner, so we responded to the community's need. We hit the ground running with our first property that, unfortunately, was well-aged and costly to maintain. Purchasing an additional property and expanding services to provide for males, as well as females, in just barely over a years time.... it's difficult to budget when your expenses keep changing so rapidly.

"In the early part of summer we came to the reality that we couldn't sustain the expense of that first property and liquidated it July. Within a month's time our executive director notified us that his family needs were calling him to return home and depart from us. So we found ourselves in this "perfect storm" of imperfections, and took some time to reflect on where we came from, but more importantly where we want to be headed."

Mimi's House isn't permanently shutting down. The Board have stated that they have big plans for the future of the organization; they just want to take a bit of time to create a new strategic plan of how they want to serve the community in the future.

Mimi's House is currently slated to be the recipient of any money earned from the Hat Six Travel Center's 2022 Pumpkin Fest. While the event is free and open to the public, donations are accepted and encouraged.

"Continued support of the organization is going to the bank and it will be there, sustaining us, when we reopen the doors," the board stated.

"Money [already] donated will be used for strategic planning and the development of policies and procedures for the future," the board shared.

The website stated that the board recognizes that even a brief suspension impacts the whole community, but they hope the community understands that "proper planning and successful implementation of policies and programming will have an exponentially greater impact well into the future."

It is the definition of taking one step backwards in order to take two steps forward.

"Your continued support, patience, and well wishes are GREATLY APPRECIATED!" the website shared. "We're not going away, we're just taking a brief suspension to make internal improvements; like a caterpillar in it's cocoon, morphing into a beautiful butterfly."

For more information, or to contact the board with any questions, individuals are encouraged to visit the Mimi's House Facebook page.

Editor's Note: The writer of this article, Nick Perkins, is currently serving as a member of the Mimi's House Board of Directors. 

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