Albuquerque Opens Center of "Hope" for Homeless Population
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
In the midst of the pandemic, hope was in the air as construction proceeded on a one-of-a-kind housing project to serve a portion of Albuquerque's homeless community.
A state-of-the-art facility called Hope Village north of downtown recently opened its doors, offering 42 residents housing, along with mental, behavioral and medical services.
Abby Long, program manager for Hope Village, believes there is a social benefit to having services centralized, rather than spread around the city, which is a typical situation for the unhoused.
"They all signed leases, they all have their own apartments, their own agency and autonomy," Long outlined. "Because with scattered-site housing it's very isolating and can be very depressing, so we wanted to make sure that we are offering a different community."
Hope Village is a $12 million collaborative effort between the city, county and financing agencies spearheaded by Hopeworks, a nonprofit focused on ending homelessness. Long would like to see New Mexico achieve the same success as Utah, which reduced its homeless population from 2,000 in 2005 to around 200 by 2015, by providing shelter and services.
Because it is brand-new construction and not retrofitted, Long pointed out the architecture allowed trauma-informed design, which is intended to promote greater well-being for occupants.
"It's developed so that people that have experienced a lot of trauma feel safer," Long noted. "There are small little things around windows and the ways the hallways are organized and with lines of sight."
Rachel Rodriguez, chief development and communications officer for HopeWork and the Hope Center, said the project is a new approach for the city toward homelessness, because criminalization does not work. She added before any construction began, a yearlong discussion was held with the area's neighbors to get their buy-in.
"We were really fortunate that they weren't wholeheartedly 'not in my backyard,' " Rodriguez acknowledged. "They said, 'OK, if this is going to be here, we would like to have some input and to ask some questions and to offer some suggestions.' "
According to HopeWorks, 63% of extremely low income households in Albuquerque are headed by a person identifying as Black, Indigenous or a person of color, with a household income of about $24,000 per year for a family of four.
get more stories like this via email
2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …
Residential water rates in Michigan are soaring, with an estimated one out of ten households without access to or unable to afford clean water…
Fracking is a very water-intensive industry, and a new study dives into the impact of unconventional oil and gas drilling on aquatic ecosystems in …
A Bellingham man who supports people with dementia has received one of the most prestigious awards for volunteerism in Washington state. The …
Native American tribal communities and conservation groups got a big win Wednesday as President Joe Biden announced he intends to create a new nationa…
A decision could come today on Nevada's bid to become the first state in the nation to hold a Democratic primary in 2024. The Democratic National …
Snow is on the ground in much of Minnesota, but the state is coming off another warm season with notable drought conditions. Those who monitor …
By Ray Levy Uyeda for Yes! Magazine.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Greater Dakota News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-…