Advocacy for homelessness in new mexico
community VOICES, LIKE YOURS, ARE VITAL TO PUSHING IMPORTANT LEGISLATION THAT HELPS END HOMELESSNESS THROUGH OUR STATE AND FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE BODIES.
We work with our member agencies, our federal, state and local governments and our New Mexico community members to advocate for legislation which makes meaningful change in housing and for the homeless.
Your help is needed for advocacy in Albuquerque this week. Help us protect safe outdoor spaces!
What's happening in abq right now?
Last week, Albuquerque City Council passed a bill that puts a moratorium (pause) on creating Safe Outdoor Spaces in the city. This pause will mean that the city cannot accept applications for Safe Outdoor Spaces until next August.
Mayor Keller Vetoed the bill in an effort to keep Safe Outdoor Spaces an option for Albuquerque. We stand in strong support of Mayor Keller's decision and are grateful for his leadership in support of the homeless.
The council needs six votes to override Keller's mayoral veto and pass the bill that pauses applications on Safe Outdoor Spaces. The meeting where this vote will take place will be on September 7th, 2022.
We need your help to call or email the city councilors above and urge them to support Safe Outdoor Spaces and to support and show up for our homeless community members.
what are safe outdoor spaces?
Safe Outdoor Spaces, or SOS, are sanctioned encampments that allow homeless people to legally stay in public, outdoor areas that are approved by the city. Sites chosen to become SOS have 24/7 oversight by non-profit partners who manage the sites. Sites chosen to become SOS also usually require applications for those hoping to stay at an SOS. Because of this, sites have a maximum capacity limit, so that no SOS has too many people staying at one site. Applicants with active warrants are not allowed in SOS and those staying in an SOS must be actively working to get into stable housing.
why are safe outdoor spaces needed?
SOS sites provide, at a minimum, privacy and security; bathrooms, trash services; drinking water and daily meals; and outreach services including housing and employment referral.
Creating spaces that allow homeless individuals to rest, get access to basic necessities, and feel safety. allows those people to have time and ability to apply for housing, jobs, and regain a sense of agency that many lose when losing access to basic necessities.
Importantly, SOS sites have 24/7 oversight from non-profit partners who work with the homeless individuals staying at the SOS to get them into stable housing and employment as quickly as possible.
SOS sites are, almost always, chosen as places where homeless people are already congregating. Because of this, while some have strong aversion to SOS because of NIMBYISM (Not in My Backyard), banning SOS does not mean that homeless people will not congregate in these areas, it simply means those people will congregate in these areas without access to food, toilets, shelter, and needed services. Because most SOS require that those staying at an SOS need to be actively working to get into housing, the aim of SOS are to transition people living in SOS into long-term housing as quickly as possible.
please show your support to our homeless community and take action with us to save safe outdoor spaces in Albuquerque!
Homelessness affects all of us.
Turning a blind eye to homelessness in our communities maintains systems of oppression and discrimination that re-enforce poverty, classism, racism, homophobia and more.
In order to end homelessness, we need collective action that calls for anti-discrimination in housing, greater access to affordable housing, more funding to our shelter systems, and fair wages to all New Mexicans. These calls to action need to happen at the federal, state and local level.
How can we do this? NMCEH wants to help you take more meaningful actions in the fight to end homelessness in New Mexico.
Here are some simple and effective ways to become an advocate for the homeless in New Mexico:
Become an advocate by learning about homelessness in New Mexico and by telling your friends and family about what you've learned.
Join one of our public meetings and hear from people working in housing and homelessness about what's going on.
Check out our Legislative Priorities for the upcoming 2023 session below and get involved by calling your local representatives to tell them to support our priorities around housing and homelessness.
Spread the word! Follow us on social media and repost content about homelessness in New Mexico to get the word out about the importance of making sure everyone can have a safe and stable place to call home.
OUR 2023 LEGISLATIVE PRIOIRITIES
Here are the main priorities we have set for our upcoming 2023 legislative session. For more information about our priorities, details and specifics please join our Advocacy Alerts and we'll send you regular e-updates.
Expanding Renters Rights through the Housing Modernization Act – Introduced two years ago and still in attempts to pass through the Legislature
Continued work in expanding the State’s Linkages Program funding allocation
Work toward getting more money into the funds the State has for emergency shelters – including shelter support options like sectioned encampments. This includes a focus on the money to maintain the infrastructure once the shelters are providing services
Funding for support structures for newly released incarcerated individuals when entering back into society
Increasing the minimum wage for all New Mexicans
Increased funding to build deeply affordable housing units
Source of Income Discrimination Legislation