New ABQ Program Will Help Residents Navigate the Financial Hardships of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, New Mexico's homeless population has been on the rise and has been for quite some time. Additionally, many families are struggling to make ends meet in this time of uncertainty.
Mayor Tim Keller and the City of Albuquerque have launched a new free public service program that aims to help residents access the city's resources for rental assistance, housing, and managing other financial needs.
The City of Albuquerque has recieved a $80,000 grant from the nonprofit Cities for Empowerment Fund to more efficiently link folks, who are dealing with the stress of income loss and having to find new waves to provide for themselves and their families.
The city has used the funds to create the new Financial Navigators program which provides guidance to residents over the phone in both English and Spanish.
For now, Mayor Keller says the city's homeless outreach team has been telling citizens where they can find shelter, and setting them up with transporation to get to the city's Westside shelter or, in some situations, to hotels.
"We do have a literally warm bed and food and that is always going to be safer then being on the streets, especially when the tempreatures are this cold" says Mayor Keller.
The new program trains Financial Navigators to connect those in need with eviction and foreclosure prevention, as well as food security benefits and managing other expenses. It is availabl throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.