Talk in the 10: Lack of funding for Wyoming’s most vulnerable population

    Fremont County is large, diverse, and filled with opinions, or “talk in the 10.” “Talk in the 10” is an opportunity for you, our readers, to articulate and share your thoughts about what is happening in the community with the community. Letters may have been edited for clarity and length, but generally have been published exactly as received. The views expressed in the following are solely those of the author. Send your letters to our editors by emailing opi[email protected]

    Wyoming is facing the perfect storm when it comes to providing care for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This storm has been brewing for decades and the primary catalyst is the lack of adequate funding for direct support professionals that serve this vulnerable community. We need our state government and legislators to commit to providing increased funding for these services rights now. Without an increase in funding, the programs that serve this vulnerable population, and the work done by direct support professionals will eventually cease to exist.

    Wyoming’s direct support professionals serve over 2,500 people with intellectual and
    developmental disabilities. This program, like many others alike, struggles to find adequate
    funding to hire and pay their essential workforce. Some have as few as zero days of available cash on hand, meaning without funding they simply cannot stay open. Asking front line staff to do more and more with less and less is simply not sustainable while leaving this voiceless community at risk which would be a tragedy.


    The Wyoming legislature for two decades (with the exception of 2018) have consistently voted to underfund these essential programs. With extra money that is in the state coffers, now is the time to commit to funding the cost and continuing to support these vital programs. So here we are bracing for the storm that is surely heading our way.

    Without appropriate reimbursement and additional funding to pay for the costs of these
    services, the work done by the Wyoming Community Service Providers is threatened leaving thousands of Wyoming’s most vulnerable citizens at risk. Don’t let that happen. Please help us educate our legislators on the need to fund the cost of these services. Let’s Fund the Cost.

    The seriousness of this dilemma cannot be stressed enough. Please contact your local
    legislators and ask them to #FundTheCost for direct support programs throughout the state.

    Hal Herron, Chairman
    Community Entry Services
    2441 Peck Avenue
    Riverton, WY 82501


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