ABQ FaithWorks Collaborative has assembled a network of faith-based organizations to meet the needs of those in emergency shelters and living on the streets. Recently their mission was given a major boost from United Healthcare, which has committed its efforts to help non-profits make New Mexico a healthier place to live.

Dawn Adkins, the director of Housing and Homelessness for ABQ FaithWorks Collaborative, says she’s on the frontline in the struggle to find homes for New Mexicans living on the streets. A 2022 point-in-time count conducted in January found that more than 1,300 individuals were in some form homeless either in emergency shelters, transitional housing, or living on the streets.

Founded in 2019, ABQ FaithWorks Collaborative combines the resources of 16 different faith communities throughout the Albuquerque area for a simple mission: to provide housing assistance to two distinct populations.

According to the collaborative, there are a number of major challenges to combating homelessness in Albuquerque. The first is a lack of affordable housing. Another challenge is the time it takes to get into a home once one is found.

Housing insecurities have a negative impact on healthcare as well. Many who are home insecure also lack a primary care physician, using emergency rooms for non-emergency care and incurring even more financial burdens in the process. Newsweek reported in April of 2022 that the “average homeless person visits the ER five times per year, costing an annual $18,500.”

Andrew Peterson is CEO of the United Healthcare Community and State in New Mexico. The company recently awarded a grant to ABQ FaithWorks to hire additional staff as they grow their network of care for the homeless. United Healthcare’s contribution will allow ABQ FaithWorks Collaborative to further develop these relationships, capitalizing on multiple organizations that can help with housing, clothing vouchers, and food. One of the greatest challenges in the fight against homelessness lies with our friends, our neighbors and ourselves.

As ABQ FaithWorks Collaborative continues to grow exponentially, partners like United Healthcare hope their assistance will allow the nonprofit to confront the challenge of homelessness head-on.

For more information, visit https://www.uhccommunityandstate.com/