Providing training and readiness to the Cheyenne community with COMEA
Helping combat homelessness
In 2019, COMEA received an award from the Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund, with the goal of providing safe and secure housing along with case management to move individuals and families experiencing homelessness toward self-sufficiency. Employment training and self-sufficiency are primary goals as COMEA looks to help folks become contributing community members.
Providing training and readiness to the community
COMEA offers life skills training which includes money management, developing healthy relationships, and job retention. Mental health and substance abuse are all addressed in weekly classes. Residents participate in park clean-up to contribute to the community. COMEA relies heavily on community volunteers to support project goals. They offer volunteer opportunities to people of all ages, and Microsoft employees may be engaged as volunteers too.
Participants also have a stake in the success of the project and organization. As an example, the recipients of the services now volunteer as liaisons, providing a link between the organization and people still homeless. Beneficiaries feel a sense of being valuable participants and needed by the organization and community.
Microsoft’s relationship with COMEA is new and has developed valuable relationships with many other agencies and service providers in the community, including the United Way of Laramie County, Mayor Marian Orr, the governor, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Wyoming Guardianship program. These groups work together to meet the specific and unique needs of residents. Services are provided to the entire area—city, county, and beyond, with multiple demographics represented.