Local nonprofit transforms lives of homeless families
September 17, 2019 08:29 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Saranam, a nonprofit located on Eubank Boulevard, has been helping end family poverty and homelessness since 2004.
Jessica Hicks graduated from the program last year. Before that, Hicks said she and her son were homeless in Albuquerque for three years.
"I was wanting to be on my own, but there was no way I could make enough money for us to be on our own,” she said.
Tracy Weaver, the executive director of the nonprofit, said they’ve helped over 130 families since they’ve opened.
She added the families that go through the program have an 80% success rate of supporting themselves once they leave.
"Saranam is here not only to end the homelessness but really to end the poverty for generations. This is not a temporary fix. This is families changing their lives for good and becoming regular members of the community just like you and I,” said Weaver.
Each year, Saranam selects at least 10 families to participate from a group of applicants. In August, 10 families equaled to 28 children.
Weaver said that’s a record.
For two years, the families will be housed in apartments. Any furniture donated to them can be theirs once they move out.
The program offers classrooms where parents and kids can learn life skills. Adults can prepare for their GED’s or for college, and there’s a family center where families focus on community building.
“This is the way myself and my incredible team have found that really works in getting families out of the problems that they were in to start with,” Weaver said.
Applications are accepted in June and July. Families are selected in August. Applicants do need to pass a background check, urine test and have interviews with the program’s families and employees.
Only 10 are usually accepted, but Weaver said they receive more than 70 applications every year.
They hope to open a second location to help more families.
Hicks encourages others to apply. Now, she has four associate degrees from CNM. She’s working on her bachelors degree and will aim for her masters to become a social worker and help others.
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Created: September 17, 2019 08:29 AM
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