Riverton to contribute $9K toward local homeless shelter effort, contingent on matching funds from Fremont County

    The Riverton City Council has decided to use $9,000 in unobligated funds to help develop a local shelter for the unhoused – contingent on a matching contribution from the Fremont County Commission.

    The money will go towards a $25,000 feasibility study that will measure the community’s ability to support a shelter, Riverton Rescue Mission co-chair Tiana Payne told the council during a regular meeting Tuesday.

    “This feasibility study will gather data such as likely donors, the amount of money that we can potentially raise, as well as gathering feedback from the community,” she explained. “(That way) the community gets buy-in, the community gets to express their concerns, and we get to hear whether or not the community supports us.”


    The Riverton Rescue Mission has already raised about $7,000 toward their $25,000 goal, including a $5,000 contribution from the Riverton Peace Mission, she noted, and the Fremont County Commission has offered to “match” the city’s allocation with $9,000 of their own.

    “We see a need, and we want to help Riverton be the best that it can be,” Payne said. “As the leaders of our city council, our group hopes that you will put our city’s money towards what you deem is most appropriate for the City of Riverton.”

    Several other speakers expressed support for the Riverton Rescue Mission allocation on Tuesday, including Wyoming Rescue Mission executive director Brad Hopkins, who said his organization in Casper has provided shelter to 30 people from the Riverton area over the past five months, despite being “120 miles away.”

    “(It) is a great honor – it’s why we’re here, to serve those unhoused,” Hopkins said. “(But) it seems to make a lot of good sense to have a facility there in Riverton as well.”


    Step Up Riverton organizer Karen Johnson also spoke in favor of the shelter effort, which she called a “really good thing” that “certainly addresses a lot of the issues” her group has brought to the council previously.

    “We hope that you will consider giving them the funding they need to complete what they’re doing,” Johnson said. “We look forward to working with them.”

    Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons organizer Nicole Wagon initially spoke to the council about her request for funding to support the MMIP Wind River group, but she expressed support for the unhoused shelter as well, and a representative from the Riverton Help Center withdrew that organization’s funding request, asking that the money go toward the Riverton Rescue Mission instead.


    City staff will now work with the shelter group to draft a funding agreement for the $9,000, which the council will consider approving at a later date.

    For more information call the City of Riverton at 856-2227.


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