By Mike Cook
The Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) has received a $ 2.5 million grant from the Bezos Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness for families in Las Cruces and Doña Ana Counties, MVCH executive director Nicole said Martinez in a press release on Nov. 17.
MVCH helps people affected by homelessness and precarious housing with shelter, shelter and income programs.
The one-time grant – the largest grant the Community of Hope has ever received – will enable MVCH to “contact families affected by homelessness or living in precarious living conditions, and provide shelter rerouting, support services and housing,” said Martinez.
Specifically, it will allow the Community of Hope to “work with many community agencies, including Las Cruces Public Schools, to help us identify families and genuinely aim for that reduction in family homelessness,” she said. “I would also like to work with motels to get families out of the accommodations until we can move them into apartments.”
Martinez said of the values underlying the grant: “To help the most needy families first, such as those who have no protection, have young children, or include family members with disabilities; Promoting racial equality and using resources to combat racial differences; Starting families in apartments – accommodation alone is not the goal; and ensure that families have access to the services and resources they need to end their homelessness and achieve their well-being. “
MVCH was one of 32 nonprofits across the country selected for the grant, according to the MVCH press release. A total of $ 96.2 million will be awarded.
Founded in 2018 by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund awards annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups that do compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger relief to meet the immediate needs of young families. the news release said.
MVCH was selected to be the Day 1 Families Fund grant recipient by an independent advisory board comprised of homeless experts with experience in politics, advocacy, racial justice, child welfare and housing and service delivery, and first-hand experience of homelessness, the press release said.
“The Mesilla Valley Community of Hope has helped me get back into society mentally, physically, and emotionally,” said Amiee Martinez, who runs the organization after living in the tent city it runs. “I lived at Camp Hope until they moved me to live and am now on the board.”
MVCH, 999 W. Amador Ave., was founded in 1991. It served 3,263 customers, including 228 veterans, and sheltered 254 people in the tent city of Camp Hope in the 2020-21 fiscal year. During the year it housed 809 people, including 258 children. During the 2019-20 fiscal year, MVCH served 2,744 customers, including 317 veterans, and sheltered 234 people at Camp Hope. It housed 570 people, including 150 children.
MVCH’s 2021 Tents to Rents fundraiser to help bring people struggling with homelessness into their own homes grossed a record $ 76,702.