NOWCAP: Helping People in Wyoming
NOWCAP, a private, non-profit community action agency, was founded in 1965 to “investigate the problems posed by insufficient income and inadequate income and inadequate economic opportunities and develop a program to remedy those problems in a coordinated manner.” (NOWCAP Bylaws)
The agency was created as part of the War on Poverty in the 1960’s and started programs such as Head Start, Senior Centers, Foster Grandparents, Family Planning, Job Training, and Migrant Health. The original agency service area consisted of five counties-Hot Springs, Fremont, Big Horn, Park and Washakie.
In the late seventies and early eighties the agency began to expand both its geographical area and its service focus adding such programs as Weatherization and expanding to include Natrona and Converse, and then in the late eighties, Niobrara, Platte, and Goshen counties. In the early nineties it expanded into Sweetwater, Carbon, Sublette, Teton, Lincoln, and Uinta counties. Other programs such as Foster Grandparents (1986) and the Adult Disability Services (1985) were added. Early in the 1990’s NOWCAP was awarded the contract to administer the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). Today NOWCAP serves over 13,500 households in Wyoming through agency programs. In the late 1990’s Migrant Head Start was added, followed by Seasonal Head Start and Early Head Start.
Today NOWCAP operates a Housing Preservation Program in the Big Horn Basin; Community Service Block Grants; NOWCAP Services, a program for persons with developmental disabilities; The NOWCAP/Black Lung and Respiratory Diseases Clinics in Sheridan Wyoming, Price Utah and Colstrip Montana.
Throughout its long history since 1965, NOWCAP has maintained a focus on one essential element--services to the poor and their involvement in the solutions to their problems. The organization has always sought to develop a wider range of services to meet the needs of families and children.