Commission approves $60k in emergency funding for Eagles Hope

    The Fremont County Commission has voted to allocate $60,000 in emergency funding to Eagles Hope Transitions.

    The money should help the nonprofit “make it to the end of the fiscal year,” which ends June 30, executive director Michelle Widmayer said.

    CSBG ‘gone’

    In the past, Widmayer explained, Eagles Hope has benefited from Community Service Block Grant funding, but that program is no longer offering financial support to area nonprofits, so “we can no longer apply for that money.”


    “That is gone,” she said. “So we have to find funding in other ways.”

    Eagles Hope has been raising community donations and applying for funding through other grant programs, Widmayer noted, but the organization still needs additional support before July 1 – “otherwise we are going to close our doors.”

    ‘Proactive, not reactive’

    Some commissioners criticized Widmayer for allowing the situation to become so urgent at Eagles Hope, with Commissioner Clarence Thomas asking her to be more “proactive, not reactive” in the future.

    “(If you’re) reactive, you end up in a situation where … all of a sudden you have to tell people, ‘We’re closing,’” Thomas said. “This is an issue of accountability and responsibility.”


    Central Wyoming College president Brad Tyndall, who attended Tuesday’s meeting as a “concerned citizen,” responded to Thomas’ comments with assurances that the Eagles Hope governing board is working to become more “proactive” – after they address “this emergency need.”

    “It’s a new day,” Tyndall said. “We have to change the funding model. …

    “This (allocation) would help us do that.”


    Budget hearing

    Commissioner Ron Fabrizius expressed support for Eagles Hope, telling Widmayer she has “done a great job” providing services to her clients – especially during “this inflationary time (that) is really difficult on everybody.”

    “I feel they’ve done a good job, so I want to support them,” Fabrizius said. “I want to help.”

    The commission will hold a budget hearing before the $60,000 allocation is distributed to Eagles Hope.


    Commissioners also discussed the possibility of using opioid settlement money to support the organization in the future.


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