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PNS Daily Newscast - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times reports President Trump's tax returns show chronic losses; and will climate change make it as a topic in the first presidential debate?


2020Talks - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times obtains President Trump's tax returns, showing chronic loss and debts coming due. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

COVID-19: Sleeping Bags, Tents Sought for New Mexico Homeless

When it comes to people experiencing chronic homelessness, New Mexico consistently ranks among the top U.S. states, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (direct relief.org)
When it comes to people experiencing chronic homelessness, New Mexico consistently ranks among the top U.S. states, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (direct relief.org)
April 27, 2020

SANTA FE, N.M. -- There's no way to know how many people are experiencing homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic, but New Mexico's homeless advocates are encouraging the donation of sleeping bags and tents to help keep people safe.

New Mexico shelters that are already full have stopped accepting new clients, while a few are closed because they're too small to accommodate social distancing.

Hank Hughes, executive director of New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, says financial donations to purchase motel room vouchers are also encouraged, because now is the time for proactive measures.

"It seems like the virus has not hit the homeless community here yet, and so we have a little window of opportunity to try and get people into a safe place," he states. "I think it's safe to say that there's probably at least a thousand people in New Mexico sleeping outside right now."

New Mexico's stay-at-home order has been extended through May 15. The director of the state's Human Services Department says the decision was based on the latest modeling data of expected cases, adding that New Mexico has a much higher proportion of vulnerable people than almost all other states.

Hughes says donations to fund more motel vouchers will benefit all New Mexicans if the homeless population can be protected from the virus.

"Because one of the worst things that could happen not only for homeless people but to our communities would be to have a large group of people with no place to stay wandering around and spreading the virus among themselves and among the rest of us," he stresses.

The San Juan County commissioners last week discussed efforts to find a temporary homeless shelter to avoid putting those who test positive in contact with healthy people.

San Juan and McKinley counties in the Four Corners area of New Mexico have reported the most cases of COVID-19. Donations can be made at local shelters or to the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness at nmceh.org.

Disclosure: New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness contributes to our fund for reporting on Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault, Housing/Homelessness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Roz Brown, Public News Service - NM