get to know safe project


The roots of SAFE Project can be traced back to 1974. Nine female law students at the University of Wyoming (UW) saw a need to raise awareness about rape at UW and in Laramie. With UW approval, some of these women opened and staffed the Women's Awareness Movement Office (WAMO) on campus to provide educational materials to women. At the same time that the law students were raising awareness about rape, a community group of feminists were organizing around the issue of family violence. This group of men and women donated money and raised funds to set up a voucher system to pay for hotel rooms when women and children fled abusive situations. In 1977, these two groups came together and began using the name SAFE Project, for Sexual Assault Family violence Educational Project. The organization was incorporated as a non-profit agency in May of 1980, with Jane Warren as one of the initial incorporators.   


SAFE Project was fortunate to receive assistance from a number of other organizations in the early years and continues to collaborate with local, state and federal organizations today. SAFE’s initial office space was generously donated for two years by the Susan B. Anthony Center at UW. The University Common Ministry acted as an umbrella agency through June 1982 and SAFE received funding through them from the Tonkin Foundation in Casper and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration. Grants from the Wyoming legislature were crucial for hiring staff, establishing a 24-hour crisis line, training volunteer advocates and beginning education programs in Albany County. Church Women United, a group that had been educating the community on intimate partner violence, elected in 1982 to transfer their shelter fund to SAFE Project. This funding helped fund the purchase of SAFE’s first permanent shelter building in the late 1980s. In 1991, an office space was purchased on Steele Street. In 2010, the purchase and renovations of a new shelter property and the current office building at 319 South Lincoln Street were made possible thanks to community development block grants from the Wyoming Business Council and the Wyoming Community Development Authority, along with funding from the Guthrie Family Foundation and proceeds from the sale of the former shelter and office buildings. In 2016, SAFE Project expanded staff to include a campus position with a main office at the University of Wyoming.


Today SAFE Project operates a 24-hour hotline and provides free and confidential services to clients and children, from answering hotline calls to responding to the hospital for sexual assaults to providing shelter to clients and children. SAFE employs an Executive Director, five full-time staff members in the office plus an additional full-time advocate on the University of Wyoming campus, and seasonal interns. We are also fortunate to be able to count on an average of 25-30 volunteer advocates who have completed our mandatory 40-hour advocacy training in order to staff the hotline, intern in the office, and provide other services to clients. SAFE Project works with male advocates in the community through the SAFE Men program. Additionally, our Board of Directors consists of nine to eleven volunteer members from throughout the community.


SAFE Project works closely with a number of local and state organizations and agencies to better assist clients and meet their needs. Since 2009, SAFE has coordinated the local Sexual Assault Response Team to better facilitate collaboration between health agencies, police officers, emergency responders, and the criminal justice system.


Throughout the year, SAFE Project’s outreach and prevention efforts include school and community presentations, informational/service brochures, advertisements, and events. As part of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month each October, SAFE holds a Silent Witness candlelight vigil to remember victims of domestic violence homicide in Albany County.


The national awareness months that are significant to SAFE Project and the colors associated with them:

  • October: Domestic Violence Awareness (purple)

  • January: Stalking Awareness (grey)

  • February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness (orange)

  • April: Sexual Assault Awareness (teal) and Child Abuse Prevention (blue)


SAFE Project is sponsored by the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office, Division of Victim Services (DVS), and a large portion of the agency’s state and federal funding is received as their sub-grantee:

  • Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) federal grant

  • State Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault grant

  • Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) federal grant

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Sexual Assault Services federal grant

  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Victim Services grant

Sources of other recent funding for SAFE Project that make it possible to provide and expand services:

  • Albany County Community Agency funds

  • City of Laramie Community Partner grant

  • Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) federal grant

  • Consolidated Youth and Engaging Men (CYEM) federal grant

  • Donations from supporters

  • Donations/proceeds from fundraisers by community members and organizations

  • Donations/proceeds from SAFE Project's annual Brunch & Bubbly event

  • First Interstate Bank

  • Guthrie Family Foundation

  • Local churches

  • Local community organizations

  • Mary Kay Foundation Shelter Program grant

  • Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) grants

  • Soroptimist International of Laramie

  • Transitional Housing federal grant

  • United Way of Albany County

  • University of Wyoming

  • Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (WCADVSA)