Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller along with Albuquerque Housing Authority celebrated the expansion of resources for those experiencing homelessness at a press conference on Friday, June 27th. Up to 80 Albuquerque Heading Home clients will have access to rental assistance vouchers issued by the Albuquerque Housing Authority, and they have also set aside 125 vouchers from the Section 8 Housing Choice program to transition people leaving supportive housing programs into permanent housing solutions. The funding is from a grant from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Mayor Keller emphasized his administration’s support of the Housing First model, and commitment to those most in need in our city. Albuquerque Heading Home is one of Albuquerque’s signature Housing First programs with over 800 people housed since 2011. HUD describes Housing First as, “… an approach to quickly and successfully connect individuals and families experiencing homelessness to permanent housing without preconditions and barriers to entry, such as sobriety, treatment or service participation requirements.”
Albuquerque Heading Home’s former client Logan recently transitioned onto a Section 8 housing voucher. He spoke at the press conference about his experience of homelessness and his gratitude for the services provided by our organization, the Albuquerque Housing Authority, and other collaborative service partners. Logan stated, “I was homeless for years, this city saved my life.”
Mayor Keller said, “Once housed, these individuals and families [experiencing homelessness] are then able to focus on the other needs to get out of the cycle of poverty.”
To read more about these vouchers, please see the Albuquerque Journal article by Rick Nathanson.