ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are 30 Tiny Homes available near Central and Zuni, but only 4 people lived in them back in March. Now there are 12, with more than 100 applications under review. The county believes there’s been an increase in interest after they changed their sober policy in April. People are no longer required to be sober for 30 days in order to apply.
“We had to reassess, look at it once again, and say okay how can we tweak this, how can we make it better so the people do qualify and we get them the help and the opportunities they need,” Tom Thorpe, a spokesperson for Bernalillo County said.
The county says they’ll be at 50% capacity by the end of this month. But with all of the growth, staff is needed. Earlier this year the county approved $500,000 that is now allowing them to hire more people at the Tiny Home Village, including one special position.
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They’re looking for the first and only social worker who will be embedded into the Village to help those in need. They say a social worker on site is exactly what this community has been missing to be successful.
“We wanna be able to have the therapists in-house to address some of the concerns, behavioral health crisis as much as we can in-house because sometimes what we see is that certain behaviors lead to people getting kicked out,” Venice Ceballos, the Program Operations Director of Community Health Worker Initiatives under the University of New Mexico Health and Sciences said.
They’ll implement different programs within the Village, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Relapse Prevention. There will be group therapy and one-on-one meetings weekly, even daily check-ins to help build relationships.
“In order to be a healing environment and the best supportive environment for these villagers, they need a therapist on-site that’s accessible for them. They don’t have to take the bus, they don’t have to wait six months for an appointment,” Monique Montes de Oca, the Senior Operations Manager of Tiny Home Village said.
They say it’s going to take a village to fight homelessness in Albuquerque, but getting help on-site is a start. If you’re interested in applying, visit the online listing.