ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One Albuquerque group that works with vulnerable youth is seeing an increase in people seeking help. When the pandemic first hit, the New Mexico Dream Center had to close its doors. Now its drop-in center is up and running to help young people experiencing homelessness.

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The nonprofit provides food, clothing, showers, and resources at its location off of east Central Ave. in Albuquerque. The group accepts walk-ins and referrals from agencies like CYFD. Executive Director Shelley Repp says she has seen more people coming in for help but it’s difficult to track the youth homeless population.

Repp has one idea she believes would combat the number of young people on the streets. “My philosophy with a lot of this is if we were to kind of pour in the money that’s poured into all of the adult homeless services for these young people, well then we would really look at flipping the script for chronic homelessness.”

The New Mexico Dream Center has a couple of different programs that are federally funded. One of those programs provides case managers to help connect services to young people in need. All other funding for resources at the center is provided by donations. Right now, the drop-in center’s hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m.