Albuquerque man helps former inmates avoid homelessness

An Albuquerque man wants to end the city’s homeless problem, starting with those fresh out of jail or prison.

The program is called ‘After Lock Up,’ and Pastor Richard Diab is hoping the city council and county commission can help him achieve a better society.

“I was thoroughly inspired and impressed by the work he was wanting to do here in Albuquerque,” says Councilor Ken Sanchez.

Councilor Sanchez first met Pastor Diab two years ago during a city council meeting, when Diab started the program.

“You need to re-educate. Not educate because they once had the skills, but through years of homelessness and addiction, they lost it,” says Diab.

It was designed to train homeless people for jobs that will, hopefully, keep them off the streets and provide stability in their lives.

“First we’re going to go through the training. We’re going to teach them responsibility. You can’t be late. In three months, you cannot miss one day of work or you’re out of the program,” says Diab.

Diab partnered with a number of local businesses to help employ the homeless. All of them are former inmates.

In two years, Diab says he’s helped 10 people get back on their feet, and there’s one success story in particular that stands out.

“He’s back home with his family. He’s a husband again. He’s a father of 2 little girls. He has a full time job,” he says.

Diab’s program is mostly funded through donations, but now he’s asking to get the city and county involved.

So far, Councilor Sanchez is on board.

“I wanted to speak to him again. I said we’ve got to try and move the program forward. You’ve proven to this community that this program is a success,” he says.

Diab says he’s dedicated to making a change in this community and won’t stop until he succeeds.

“No food stamps. No cash assistance. You’re going to work like everyone else in society. You’re going to pay taxes, and you’re back on board,” Diab says.

Diab will present his program before the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Government Commission next month to ask for funding.

There is no set amount on how much he’s asking for just yet.

To get involved in the ‘After Lock Up’ program, email Diab.

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