The Need

Single mothers and their children experience the highest rates of poverty among families in Wyoming. The women we serve are living in crisis: unemployed or working low-wage jobs that don’t provide financial stability, dealing with stress that is toxic for the brain, and struggling to cover basic needs like food and housing.


63% of Wyoming children living below the federal poverty threshold are being raised by single parents.1


(Photo Above: Deana received comprehensive pre-program support that has allowed her to be in a better place for her three kids, including son Edmond.)

Deana was driving down the interstate in February, snow blowing across the road, when her phone rang.

“I pulled over,” she recalls. “It was Climb following up with me again, asking if I was ready to do their Commercial Driving training. I decided then and there to do it.”

Climb staff had kept in regular contact with Deana for several months to support her path to training, work readiness, and eventual employment.

“I had two drug charges and had spent 30 days in jail,” Deana says. “I didn’t have a house. I’d been in a toxic relationship and was newly sober. It would have been easy for Climb to turn me away, but they saw my potential.”

“It’s so tiring being in survival mode all the time.

-Deana, Climb Wyoming Graduate

The pre-program support Deana received from Climb was extensive and included help with legal advocacy for a criminal record and access to community resources. Climb also guided her through driver’s license renewal, along with getting the physical required for obtaining a commercial driver’s license. 

“It’s so tiring being in survival mode all the time,” she says of the constant stress poverty placed on her family.

Once the program started, Climb assisted Deana with the process of applying for her Certificate of Indian Blood for the Navajo Nation, something she says will have a lasting impact on her and her kids.

“Climb helped me take all these little steps,” says Deana, “that eventually amounted to the very big moment of me being ready to do the program. With Climb I felt safe enough to move forward in my life.”

Today, Deana drives a cement truck for Knife River, a construction company in Cheyenne. “Now my kids are starting to be kids. They don’t have to worry about their mom anymore.”


1 2020 Wyoming Kids Count Report

the climb program

The Climb program has evolved for more than 35 years into one of the nation’s most successful models for moving families out of poverty.

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