Group takes steps to clarify vision on ending poverty

SHERIDAN — A group of Sheridan residents looking to aggregate area social services took another step toward finalizing a unified vision Friday.

In a conference call with administrators from a Denver-based social services center, members of a recently formed committee asked questions ranging from very practical to more abstract about the ins and outs of running a similar operation.

An offshoot of last fall’s Study Circles for Poverty program hosted by the Center for a Vital Community, the group was formed around the idea that many Sheridan residents struggle to identify and take advantage of available resources thanks to their relatively disjointed status.

While no concrete initiatives have yet been decided upon, the group has set about meeting with executives from various regional agencies with similar goals to learn about how they’ve grown.
At this week’s meeting, the group spoke with the officials from Denver Urban Ministries — a longtime staple of the Denver community that aims to connect residents with food services, job resources and other essential amenities.

Executive Director Tammy Mulligan briefed committee members on the organization’s birth and eventual metamorphosis, which occurred largely in response to specific community needs.

“We went from being this funding source to a service provider,” she said of the transformation.

Members of the Sheridan committee expressed concerns ranging from transportation issues to community buy-in, and while no formal action was taken, group members agreed that the added perspective gave them plenty to consider moving forward.

Following the call, the group went on to discuss another effort to register Sheridan social agencies for Wyoming 2-1-1 — a budding telephone-based referral service that links up residents and social service agencies.

Group members said that while any potential resource center — whether a brick and mortar location or a simpler network of referrals — is still a ways down the road, their recent conversations with groups like Denver Urban Ministries make them hopeful that real change can result from their efforts.

About

Paolo Cisneros

Paolo Cisneros joined The Sheridan Press staff in August 2012. He covers business, energy and public safety. A Chicago native, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011.

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