Albuquerque homeless program hits milestone

Updated: 06/05/2014 5:43 PM | Created: 06/05/2014 5:39 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A program that is helping hundreds of Albuquerque's homeless find homes reached a milestone Thursday and it's just getting started.

"Albuquerque Heading Home" has helped more than 300 people find a place to live since the program started three years ago. It has 312 clients, but the number of people the group has helped goes to 359 if you count their spouses and children.

Jose Villegas is one of them.

"It's been helping me quite a bit," he said.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry was on hand for a news conference celebrating the program's success.

Albuquerque Heading Home focuses on helping homeless people with medical issues and has big plans for the future.

"We're looking now at other sub-populations," said Dennis Plummer, CEO of Albuquerque Heading Home. "So veterans are at the top of our list. We're also looking at families that are about to lose children to foster care to the housing instability."

Plummer said finding homes for people also saved the city more than $3 million.

"It's a $3.2 million savings since we began," said Plummer. "Meaning it's more expensive to have someone on the street using the emergency services system. So we actually save money by housing people."

Mattress Firm is donating a new mattress to everyone helped by Albuquerque Heading Home in 2014. 

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