Homelessness in New Mexico is solvable.
There are about
people who experience homelessness in New Mexico each year.
We estimate that there are about 6,548 people who experience homelessness per year in New Mexico that do not receive adequate assistance to help them exit homelessness.
Compared to other parts of the U.S., there are a limited number of homeless people in New Mexico, which makes the funding and actions necessary well within the resources of the state.
Two evidence-based interventions have proven effective at helping people exit homelessness. These are:
Rapid Rehousing - for people who are not disabled, which helps 90% of households assisted exit homelessness within two years, according to 2018 New Mexico HMIS data.
Permanent Supportive Housing – primarily for people with disabilities to get assistance from on-site services and case workers.
A comprehensive system of rapid rehousing and permanent supportive housing will prevent a great deal of homelessness while assisting people experiencing homelessness to quickly get back into housing.
Our goal for those who become homeless is to create a wrap-around system where rehousing happens within 30 days of losing housing. Our analysis shows that it would cost about $61.3 million per year over two years to provide these interventions on the scale necessary to help all 6,548 people not assisted through current resources. In addition to the operating cost, a one-time investment of $48 million in state capital outlay funds would be necessary to build additional permanent supportive housing.
To provide the assistance allowing all homeless people in New Mexico to exit homelessness, we propose that:
The State of New Mexico provide operating funds of $30.65 million the first year, $61.3 million per year in years two and three, $40.9 million in year four, and $20.45 million in year five for permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing.
This will help leverage an additional $6 million in federal homeless assistance funding per year. The State of New Mexico would need to devote only $48 million in capital outlay funds over three years for construction. This will be used to leverage an additional $24 million from the National Housing Trust Fund, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and other sources to fund the needed construction. This would create a system where homelessness is brief, rare and non-recurring in New Mexico and would prevent the worst impacts of homelessness on the lives of those affected.
breaking away from stereotyping homelessness
Homelessness is an issue that is filled with inaccurate stereotypes about the types of people who are homeless and why and how people become homeless. These stereotypes are based, often, on racist, classist, and ableist views that are deeply entrenched in our society. Some of these harmful stereotypes are simply inaccurate and some come from a deeply unequal and inequitable housing system that is rooted in discriminatory practices reaching back to the early days of the founding of the U.S. These systems of inequity are not the cause of any one person or organization. Rather, they are a deeply rooted and often overlooked structure of oppression that has become so entrenched in our systems that many of us develop biases and opinions regarding housing and homelessness that unintentionally maintain and reinforce the structures that give some easy access to safe places to call home and others extreme difficulty gaining access to safe homes.
As a community, we need to step away from our biases and stereotypes of homelessness and understand that most homelessness is caused by lack of affordable housing, discrimination around source of income to pay for rental units, and discrimination more generally.
mORE ABOUT HOMELESSNESS IN NEW MEXICO WILL BE ON THE WEBSITE SOON!