RENEW and CDSI Question Commissioners Claims About Grant Allocation

We've now heard the story that a $50,000 grant was awarded to CASA by the Sheridan County Commission this week. At least we've heard part of the story. More questions have been raised since our initial report about why CASA received all of the funds, while the applications from RENEW and the Center for Dispute Solutions were both dismissed.

The four commissioners who were at the meeting say their decision was largely based on the fact that neither RENEW nor CDSI had representatives at the public hearing. However, CDSI Director Cori Erickson has a different take on the situation:

Records from last year's meeting show that CDSI received $15,000 of the TANF grant, while CASA received $35,000.

Vice President of RENEW, Sandy Theil, also questions the commissioners' stated rationale:

Erickson adds that while these grants are vital to their programs, in this case, it isn't entirely about the money:

The two projects which will remain on the drawing board, at least for now, are both “preventative” programs. CDSI was looking to fund their parenting counseling program, while RENEW was seeking to provide a service for developmentally disabled children from needy families. Again, Sandy Thiel:

Having shared their side, both Sandy and Cori emphasized that they do think CASA is an excellent and important organization, well-deserving of these funds.

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Grant allocation

Is it true that Casa did not show up last year, yet received $35,000 of the grant money? If that is true, then what happened here needs to be looked into. I especially think commissioner Ringley's comment that he "interprets that" (the fact that the other 2 organizations did not show up) "as lack of interest". I am sure Renew and CDSI did not have a lack of interest. These organizations apply for many grants yearly and the process for those is sometimes very long, and sometimes hard to complete. It is probably not possible to be at every meeting concerning who receives those grants. It should be stated on the grant application that if they do not show up for the public hearing, they will not receive any money. To say that they have a lack of interest is disrespectful to these organizations who do a great service in our community.


loves sheridan

That may be the "SHERIDAN WAY". Grants are awarded based on criteria and how well each agency meets the criteria. Basically those who award grants triage the submissions based on express needs documented in the application. Unless it stated in the Request for Proposals (RFP)that agencies show up then it is not part of the criteria for awarding funds. Does any one else think the County Atty or better still the state Atty General look at this process? Too much in this city/county seems to be done based on who know who, whos friends and who is not and who is married to whom. A little light needs to be shed on this! If this grant was awarded in this fashion who many other grants have been awarded based on "showing up."

thank you

while i do not heistate to challenge at times the reporting of sheridan media and Ms Love I want to be equally fair and recognizing you for a job well done! Without your coverage many if not most of us would not have known what had taken place.It is important to remember that while one agency faired well the families served by the two other agncies have suffered a loss. Remember, as Kristy,pointed out, it is FAMILIES that lose. Again, great job Sheridan Media and Ms Love. I hope you will stay on this and gather some type of explination from the commisioners. The families impacted deserve no less. Great job!

If they needed it so badly

If they needed it so badly they should have showed up and showed respect to the fact that money could have been placed in their hands freely. You shouldn’t be able to just submit a request that you want the money and get it; you should show that you need it, deserve it and then you should get it. I am not saying the other groups don’t need it but they can’t sit back and expect it to just be placed in their lap! Also, I don’t think that it was mandatory that they be there and I am sure the commissioners did consider them and I am sure they also put into consideration that CASA did just show this year, but years in past as well!


As a parent to a special needs Autistic this saddens me...

Renew should have been at least considered and awarded something. Both Renew and the Child Development Center are wonderful and vital prevention and early intervention organizations in our community. My daughter received therapy from the Child Development center that will positively affect her for the rest of her life, during critical times of her development they helped me on the path of discovering her Autism of which I had two Drs diagnose and confirm. Had my daughter not received the services/therapy she was given she would still be struggling and not nearly functioning at as high of a level as she is. It is so critical at a young age because those are the times when the brain is forming and wiring connections.

Renew does similar things for other special needs. They give parents who don't want to Institutionalize their child but rehabilitate; they help families cope and special needs people of many ages progress and function with their special needs. Wyoming should do all it can to support families that believe that children with special needs benefit most in the home. However these families need support and education to ensure the health of the parents and the rest of the family. Renew does things just as I mention if not more and I believe are just as vital as the Child Development Center.

So why they weren't made a priority tells me that those with decision making power could care less if our community moves back closer to an "institutionalized society" and less towards helping families who want to help their special needs children!

Not saying CASA is a bad organization just saying it should be all or nothing as far as funding when you have vital organizations like Renew. Renew should have at least received a portion of any money that was available. We can't just toss our special needs community to the side.

also mother of special needs child

Hear hear Bravo Bravo ...amen she said it all!

J. S. Luckjohn


1. was it mandatory that all agencies be present to be considered for the grant money?

2. has any commisioner or spouse served on the board of casa?

3 why wasnt this the protocol last year?

sounds like casa fed their egos by showing up so they got the money.

I think the commisioners have some explaining to do


politic...politics... politics..

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