According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are 2,551 people experiencing homelessness in New Mexico on any given day. Of that number 182 per day are unaccompanied homeless youth.
New Day Family Services and Youth Development Inc. are hoping to change these numbers with the help of a recently funded grant that will allow them to conduct more Street Outreach Programs in the hopes of ending homelessness in New Mexico. Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at YDI Diana Lopez discusses the grants and how they will help to provide services.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services awarded each organization $150,000 for the next three years to aid homeless youth in the Albuquerque area. The Street Outreach Program will specifically enable the organizations to reach runaway and homeless youth who have been subjected to or at risk of sexual abuse, prostitution, and sex trafficking.
Diana explains that with the help of this grant, they will hire two full-time street outreach specialists to work with existing staff in other programs to go out to the streets in teams to provide services seven days a week. They aim to provide non-perishable food items, basic clothing, meal sites, and to provide information and resources to stabilize their living situation.
While YDI will accept any type of donation, they are also asking the public to help provide travel-size toiletries and clothing items as they will create a clothing bank for youth in need.
A nationally recognized youth service organization, YDI has several programs that help homeless youth including a short term crisis shelter, a transitional living program, and outreach-based programs.
New Day & Family Services began as Albuquerque’s first and only runaway shelter and over the past 40 years has focused on meeting the needs of young people who are in trouble by helping youth have a safe refuge, adult allies, and basic skills needed for a positive future.