The financial burden on kinship guardians can be overwhelming. Often, kin are placed with guardians as a result of a crisis, leaving little or no time for the guardians to prepare. Common financial barriers kinship guardians face include unforeseen legal fees, having to buy furniture and other household items for the children’s living space, purchasing clothes for the children, and increases in all areas of daily living expenses (gas, electric, food, transportation).
Fostering Families is here to help kinship guardians who are struggling financially by providing information and connecting families to local, state, and national services including: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Women, Infants & Children (WIC), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Housing Authority, Income Support Division, Medicaid, Child Support, and Child Care Assistance.
CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Access this program can be used if you and your family are working and/or at school and are at or below 200% of the federal poverty line. If you meet these prerequisites then you may qualify for subsidized child care. The amount varies depending on various factors such as location, age of the child, and type of child care requested by the family.
Since 1986 Homewise has been helping families plan their current and future home buying goals. They equip these families with the tools and education to acquire low cost financing and a high quality and safe home. The goal of this organization is to help families become successful homeowners so that the neighborhoods and communities can strengthen and grow together.
ALBUQUERQUE HOUSING AUTHORITY
The Albuquerque Housing Authority uses federal funds to offer housing assistance to low income Albuquerque residents. They have roughly 950 units throughout Albuquerque that are used as housing for low income families, the elderly, and disabled individuals. The Albuquerque Housing Authority has been able to make it so that tenants pay 30% of their income towards rent and then subsidize the rest, with the hope that this will allow these families to lift themselves out of low-income housing and poverty.
ROADRUNNER FOOD BANK
This is the largest nonprofit organization in New Mexico dedicated to ending hunger through its dedicated food distribution hubs and statewide resources. Founded in 1979 by Reverend Titus Scholl, Roadrunner Food Bank started feeding the hungry with a meager $40,000 in loans, to now operating statewide and feeding roughly 70,000 people per week. This organization can help kinship caregivers by providing food to grandparents or extended family members taking care of children. Roadrunner Food Bank recognizes that the number of grandparents raising grandchildren has doubled in the last forty years and has left these families vulnerable to hunger and poverty.
CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE
The City of Albuquerque has quite a few resources to help low-income and underserved populations. Included in these are TEFAP Food Boxes, Emergency Diapers, Utility and Rental Assistance (based upon available funds), Information & Referrals to other Collaborating Agencies, Meeting Rooms for Neighborhood and Community Groups, Toys for Tots, Health Fairs, and Community Fairs.
YES NEW MEXICO
This resource connects you to programs such as Medicaid (Medical Assistance), SNAP (Food Assistance), TANF (Cash Assistance), and LIHEAP (Energy Assistance). All it takes is going to their website and getting started.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the continuation of the previous federal and state food stamps program, helping low income individuals and families to pay for food at selected grocery stores. The guidelines are set out by the federal government, but once qualified, within 30 days you can have your benefits sent to your EBT card.
MCKINNEY VENTO PROGRAM
This Albuquerque Public School program was created to help families by helping with enrollment assistance and acquiring school supplies and school uniforms. They also help parents and students find after-school tutoring, preschool and parental support programs, and summer reading and math programs. If you are experiencing homelessness, whether temporary or long-term, this program can help you with referrals to Health Care for the Homeless and obtaining access to the APS Clothing Bank.
Depending on the percentage of economically disadvantaged people at a school, the school might qualify for Title I advantages. If yours or your child’s school has title 1 benefits, you can see how they are allocating the funds and use your voice to change what you think needs to be changed. These funds are most commonly used to improve the curriculum, improve facilities, and hire more staff.
MESILLA VALLEY PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITY
This program helps low-income and underserved populations to attain affordable housing. They work out of Doña Ana County and the city of Las Cruces and are currently working with over 6,000 residents. With their substantial annual operating budget, they are able to provide hundreds of housing units and 1,627 Housing Choice Vouchers.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) works to ensure the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five who might be at risk of malnutrition or might not have the ability to properly feed themselves or their children. They do this by providing foods rich in nutrients to supplement their diets. This program also provides education on healthy eating and starting and maintaining good health habits, along with connecting these families with community resources and services to ensure their health and safety.
NEW MEXICO DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions is a state run organization that helps to improve the state’s workforce through constant innovation and workforce development. They ensure that businesses in New Mexico are following fair labor practices and are providing workforce protections.