Sandy’s Success Story

After a short stay in our Phase III apartments, Sandy is off to a new adventure with her loyal companion!

Sandy came to Gillette by way of Casper last year in June.  Sandy had been homeless and wandering for years.  Her homelessness began in Louisiana and continued to haunt her in Casper.  Without family or support to rely on, Sandy was on her own.  Try as she might, Sandy was unable to maintain steady employment due to her mental health conditions.

She was quickly moved to the top of the list

While in Casper Sandy received shelter from an organization which participates in a program called Coordinated Entry.  Coordinated Entry is a state-wide program which matches qualified applicants with participating supportive housing around the state.  With Sandy’s background, she was quickly moved to the top of the Coordinated Entry priority list.

From the top of the Coordinated Entry list is where we first met Sandy.  An apartment had just become available in our permanent supportive housing for individuals with persistent and severe mental illness…otherwise known as the Phase III apartments.  These apartments are a stable and supportive environment for individuals with mental illnesses to first be provided housing and then to begin addressing the issues that lead to their homelessness. 

Sandy was eager to start a new adventure and accepted the open apartment in Gillette.  Through collaborative efforts between Casper and Gillette organizations Sandy made her way from Casper to Gillette. 

Sandy eagerly looked for employment

Once settled in Gillette, Sandy worked with our staff to straighten out her Social Security disability benefits and worked on applying for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.  Sandy enjoyed utilizing the Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen, as both offered great opportunities to socialize.  While in supportive housing, Sandy eagerly looked for employment.  Sandy held a variety of jobs and truly enjoyed working but struggled to find long-term employment.  She would often fill her time volunteering at the Soup Kitchen or Seconds on the Avenue.

A few months into her stay Sandy adopted her beloved dog, Axle.  Everywhere Sandy went so did Axle,  her faithful companion.  Sandy soon began to express her interest in living independently.  It took nearly six months, but in November Sandy was approved for the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program.  A voucher for the Section 8 program allows the participant to choose to live in any rental unit that accepts the voucher.  The voucher is an agreement between the Section 8 program and the landlord.  The participant’s portion of the rent is limited to 30% of their income while the Section 8 program will pay the remainder to the landlord.

Sandy found a place she and Axle loved!

The Section 8 program allows for great freedom in housing choice and Sandy was eager to get started. With help from our staff to visit apartments and handle the application process Sandy found a place she and Axle loved! With her newfound independence, Sandy handled all the moving arrangements and quickly called to pass along her gratitude and share her excitement for her new adventure.          

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