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By Karla Pomeroy

Goshen HELP needs input to set poverty priorities in Washakie County


March 18, 2021

WORLAND — Goshen HELP, a community action agency serving Carbon, Crook, Goshen, Niobrara, Washakie and Weston counties is seeking public input to prioritize assistance in Washakie County.

According to Executive Director Kyle Borger, Goshen HELP is seeking input on how it should focus grant resources in Washakie County to address poverty.

“We need your input whether you need help or not. Please take the survey at”

Borger said initially the community action agency provided rent and utility assistance.

As the agency has grown and added more counties, they have learned that a community action agency means that we should be owned by the community, which means the community needs to be involved in setting policy and programs and determining how the funds are spent and how to help people in the communities.

“Our role is to help be a hub for communities we serve, to bring together agencies to determine the causes of poverty and find local solutions,” he said.

Goshen HELP utilizes grant funding to support those in the poverty level. The grants used to be run by NOWCAP and most recently by YCAN (Yellowstone Country Assistance Network).

Borgers said that the state asked Goshen HELP to take on counties where no one was applying to take on the grant.

Goshen HELP began serving Goshen County in 2018 and has added the other counties recently.

“The grants require a lot of oversight and details and it is hard to manage with the amount of money the counties we serve receive so we can cost-share administrative components with the six counties.

“We are hoping that with six counties we can do more than what we can each do alone,” Borger said.

He said the grant amount for Washakie County is about $45,000.

“The grant funds we have are not huge but they can help us develop the backbone to address what the causes of poverty are in each community we serve,” he said.

Borger said in the past the community block grants have been treated as an add-on to other programs that the agencies have run.

The grant, however, is supposed to be run as a hub with the community leading, providing volunteers and community events. “It is something that is owned by the people who live there.”

Through the survey, people in Washakie County will help determine the priorities.

He said Goshen HELP wants to find out what the greatest needs are in the community, what resources are already available and what can Goshen HELP provide.

He said they know people will list things like housing and food, but the survey will provide a lot more details to help establish priorities. He said there are a lot of programs that provide rent and utility assistance so they would like the grant funds to go toward other issues in the county.

“One of keys to success is community involvement, we want to establish a group of people to represent us in Washakie County,” Borger said.

A board member is needed from Washakie County. One of best things Washakie County can do to have a voice is to have a board member.

Anyone interested in becoming a board member or for more information can contact Goshen HELP at 307-532-0269 or [email protected]


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