Friday, October 22, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

NM Homeless Shelters Face Cash Crunch As Pandemic Continues


Wednesday, January 6, 2021   

SANTA FE, N.M. - As families cope with unemployment, pay cuts and the threat of eviction because of the coronavirus, state homeless agencies say communities could help by providing financial support.

Hank Hughes, executive director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, said infection rates among the homeless population have been kept to a minimum because the federal CARES Act provided money for motel rooms. However, he said reduced funds will mean only a portion of those currently housed at motels will be able to stay there going forward.

"Also, as we know, people's unemployment checks got interrupted," he said. "We're just seeing a surge in homelessness and housing insecurity in general as people kind of struggle to make it through the winter."

Coronavirus vaccines will become more available in the next few months, but Hughes said people and families will continue to need help with food, clothing and money for the next 18 to 24 months.

Joe Jordan-Berenis, executive director of the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete's Place, said the shelter typically can house 123 people, but with capacity reduced by 25% due to COVID-19, only 35 people can stay there. He supports the "Housing First" model that prioritizes providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, and said many of the unhoused have thrived at motels.

"If I have to bring them back into the shelter, emotionally it's going to be really, really difficult for them and I know it," he said, "and my concern is that, boy, would I like to move them into housing."

Jordan-Berenis said the Interfaith shelter currently has enough money to keep 70 homeless individuals in motel rooms until April 1. At the same time, he said keeping the shelter operating presents its own problems.

"It certainly has been challenging," he said. "I have staff who are out who've been exposed, I have volunteers who are out who've been exposed. We typically have approximately 2,000 active volunteers. Most of them disappeared, and I get it. I understand that because they're older or they have someone at home who's vulnerable."

A recent report on housing in Santa Fe estimated the city suffers from a rental shortage of more than 7,000 units.

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.

get more stories like this via email
California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021