ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Thousands of dollars will soon help Albuquerque homeless off the streets and into housing, all because of contributions by the community. From billboards to street signs and t-shirt sales, the city has upped the ante when it comes to getting money into the One Albuquerque Housing Fund.

“We know there’s lots of people in our community who care about homelessness and want to be part of the solution,” said Lisa Huval, Deputy Director of Housing and Homelessness with the Department of Family and Community Services. “Some of those folks are contributing to non-profits that they really care about and others haven’t been sure how to help.”

In the months since the campaign launched — designed to pay for housing vouchers for the homeless — billboards line Albuquerque streets, urging locals to unite and donate. The city says the donations are on target with what they expected and that number is growing.

“The housing fund is doing great. So far, we have about $16,000 in the housing fund,” said Huval. “These are all contributions from members of our community.”

When it comes to keeping the fund sustainable, the city says they’re always looking for ideas to keep money flowing.

“We have been looking for opportunities as a city to generate funding for the One Albuquerque Housing Fund,” said Huval. “Whatever we raise we can get out into the community really quickly to help get folks into housing.”

As that comes in through merchandise sales and online donations for now, they plan on budgeting what does come in to put it to use. The city says it’s one step to solving the homelessness problem in Albuquerque.

“We know the reason people experience homelessness is because they don’t have a place to live,” said Huval. “As a city and a community, if we really want to have an impact on the problem, it’s all about housing. We have to figure out how to help folks find safe housing that they can afford.”

The city says it has just cut its first check from the fund to give to a local non-profit organization. That money will help with upfront housing costs like security deposits and first/last months’ rent.