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Fighting Homelessness

March 15, 2019 – Homelessness is a persistent problem in New Mexico and officials in the state’s largest city and in Bernalillo County are rolling out new strategies to help people get off the streets. These include plans for a new, full-service shelter and more supportive housing. They also include connecting people facing homelessness with behavioral health services when they need them because many are grappling with mental health issues. But will these proposals work, and how are they building on current programs? Beyond immediate needs, how will they help people get into permanent stable housing? In this segment we talk with officials from the city of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County as well as nonprofit service providers helping the homeless.

Legislative note: House Bill 657 earned endorsements from dozens of lawmakers. It proposed funding a study of affordable housing in and around Albuquerque, which is closely linked to lifting people out of chronic homelessness. With just hours left in the legislative session, $205,000 is earmarked for the study. It’s part of the so-called junior budget bill, which allots millions of dollars in surplus funding for one-time expenses that are important to lawmakers. More than half a dozen such expenditures have to do with efforts to deal with homelessness.

Katrina Hotrum-Lopez, director of Behavioral Health Initiative, Bernalillo County
Lisa Huval, deputy director, Family & Community Services, City of Albuquerque
Greg Morris, executive director, HopeWorks
Danny Whatley, executive director, The Rock at Noonday

For Further Reading:

Cities Are Taking A New Approach To HomelessnessCurbed

Why Some Homeless Choose The Streets Over Shelters – NPR

Cities Around Country Move Away From Large Homeless SheltersWABE

Homelessness Up In New MexicoAssociated Press

Survey: ABQ Tops 32 Cities For Housing The HomelessAlbuquerque Journal

City OKs Homeless Shelter FundingAlbuquerque Journal

City Unveils Plan To Tackle Homelessness CrisisAlbuquerque Journal

Business Alliance Proposes Solution To City’s Growing Homelessness ProblemAlbuquerque Journal

University of New Mexico, City Partner on HomelessnessSanta Fe New Mexican

Study Finds Housing Homeless Saves MoneyKUNM

Fort Worth Is Model For The Country, HUD Secretary Says. Here’s WhyFort Worth Star Telegram

The Power Of Giving Homeless People A Place To BelongCityLab