Riverton Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter needs to raise $25K

    (Lander, WY) – Kara Hancock presented an overview of the plan for the Riverton Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter to the Fremont County Commissioners on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

    Extremely impressed by the Wyoming Rescue Mission in Casper, volunteers behind the newly formed Riverton Rescue Mission decided to model the Riverton shelter after it.

    “It was a come as you are program where unhoused neighbors are given a hand up, not a handout,” Hancock said about the Casper shelter.


    Tiana Payne and Leslie Spoonhunter have been named co-chairs of the Riverton Rescue Mission, and Kara Hancock is the secretary.

    “Riverton Rescue would like to create a come as you are shelter,” Hancock continued. “Our basic goal is to prevent any weather-related deaths while showing an abundance of love and respect for our neighbors. We would eventually like to implement some mental health assistance, case managers, and substance abuse programs.”

    They want to work with programs within the community, like Fremont Counseling, Wind River Cares, White Buffalo, and other programs already in place.

    Their long-term goals include having not only case managers but also counselors available. They would also like to eventually provide “discipleship, social learning, and educational opportunities to help our people become successful and productive members of our society.”


    Casper’s Wyoming Rescue Mission has agreed to mentor the Riverton Rescue Mission as they create a sustainable shelter. Part of the deal is that the Riverton Rescue Mission needs to raise $25,000 to cover startup costs. Once that amount is raised, Wyoming Rescue Mission has agreed to keep the shelter running.

    “The initial goal will be an emergency shelter open 24 hours a day with the hopes of opening a more developed program by the winter of 2024,” Hancock explained.

    A location has not been decided upon, but Hancock said they have a few possibilities that would work for their needs.


    Commissioner Clarence Thomas is fully onboard with funding the $25,000.

    “If we, as a state, are willing to put $10 million into a shooting range, I think we could put $25,000 into making sure people don’t freeze to death,” Thomas said. “And just to let you know, we’ve had three already on the reservation freeze to death just in the past two weeks.”

    The Commissioners did not vote on funding the Riverton Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter on Tuesday. Instead, they took it under advisement to try and figure out where they could come up with funding and would come back to it later.


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