The Changing Face of Homelessness in Sheridan County: Part Two

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The Changing Face of Homelessness in Sheridan County: Part Two (Photo courtesy of Flickr user dgphilli)
The Changing Face of Homelessness in Sheridan County: Part Two (Photo courtesy of Flickr user dgphilli)

A study recently conducted by the Volunteers of America of the Northern Rockies and the Homelessness Resource Alliance of Northeastern Wyoming found that 80 individuals within the county lacked a safe place to sleep. But as Sheridan Media's Chris Foy reports in part two of his series, mental illness and substance abuse issues are on the rise - along with homelessness - in Sheridan County.


In his experience as director of the Sheridan Community Shelter, Larry Penrice has probably seen it all. As we reported yesterday, a recent study found that 40 individuals were currently hospitalized at local medical facilities, from the Veteran Affairs hospital to substance abuse treatment programs, with no home to return to following their imminent discharge.

How big of a role does mental illness, from undiagnosed conditions to the all-too-common lack of insurance or funding to pay for treatment, actually play in homelessness in our community? Penrice explains.

He says a significant percentage of those who walk through the shelter's doors seeking a safe place to sleep are profoundly mentally ill.

But Penrice says he's noticing another trend in Sheridan amongst some of those without a home. Methamphetamine. He shares this recent story.

Stay tuned for part three of this series, as we examine what the community is doing to help people like this man reintegrate successfully back into society: from Penrice and his entire staff to the generous residents who donate time, funds, food and clothing and the community organizations who are dedicated to help those who, like anyone has the potential to be, find themselves in a tough spot.

Editor's note: For part one of this series, visit http://www.sheridanmedia.com/new...

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