ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A three-and-a-half acre plot of land near Montano and Taylor Ranch is just dirt right now. But by spring of next year, there will be 25 residential units and program space for Albuquerque’s Saranam. A two-year transitional housing program for families facing homelessness.
“We’re really attacking homelessness and poverty at Saranam with a two-generational approach so that not only do we get the family out of homelessness right now but for the next generation and the next generation,” Tracy Weaver, the Executive Director of Saranam said.
But many who live nearby are concerned with the development. They say it’s a little too close for comfort. “Don’t get me wrong, not that people don’t deserve a second chance. I don’t want anyone on the street, especially families, but I want there to be some type of rules and regulations for, you know, do they have to work? What all goes into it,” a nearby resident said.
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Saranam says there will be requirements. In order to be accepted, families must have a referral, be sober, and participate in programming at the center while enrolled as a full-time student.
“We really are about increasing the education level of our families so they can get better jobs to better support their families after they leave our program. So it’s not just about the homelessness; we are really trying to dive into ending the poverty that comes along with the homelessness,” Weaver said.
Neighbors say they were not informed about the development and feel they were left out of the decision. “When asked about it, you know, they kept saying no, this isn’t happening, this isn’t happening, and come to find out, well, it is happening, and it’s right in your backyard,” a resident said.
Some are even considering finding a new place to call home. “I have neighbors that have actually talked about looking at selling because of their homes depreciating in value.”
Saranam says they have an 88% success rate, with many of their families leaving the program and starting fresh. The entire facility is set to be completed in the fall of 2023. They encourage people who live nearby to learn more about their program.