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Casper Salvation Army creates transitional living program for women

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:25 PM CST
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Salvation Army in Casper created a new state wide program to help women transition out of prison.

“We named it WY Step Up for a couple of reasons. Wyoming obviously and Step Up you know give them a chance to step up out of the circumstances that they had and into a better life so it doesn’t continue to repeat,” said Corps Officer Major Trish Simeroth.

The Salvation Army wants to break the cycle of poverty, addiction, and behavior that leads to incarceration. WyStepUp’s focus is to help women find strength in themselves, their community, and their approach to life, so they have a better chance to transition into a self-sufficient way of life.

The Salvation Army provides women with transitional housing, connection to the community, and life development skills. The program encourages women to explore new job opportunities, enroll in school, or participate in job training. The program teaches women to work on a budget and create a savings plan.

It costs about $130 a day for a person to be incarcerated in Wyoming, WYStepUp’s program costs about $60 a day.

“We do have a program fee and the purpose of that is to help stabilize them help get back to the normalcy of doing things on their own. Often times, when we do transitional housing or sheltering, they come in and there is not a cost for them, so they don’t invest in it. The women we have in this program are investing in their own lives,” said Simeroth.

WYStepUp works with probation and parole and the court system to help the women stay on track and take responsibility for their lives. The program has a 95% success rate of women not returning to prison.

“We’re looking to model this in other areas across the United States, so this a good pilot program for us to see how we can help make a better change in the community,” said Simeroth.

The program’s length depends on achieved goals and reasonable needs, which are determined through a case management assessment women go through on their first day. The WYStepUp Program offers wraparound service, so women who graduate are welcome to reconnect at any time.

The WYStepUp Transitional Living Program does have an application process. For more information contact Major Trish Simeroth trish.simeroth@usw.salvationarmy.org.

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