There's a Better Way program put on hold for at least three months
October 18, 2019 06:22 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A local program meant to get panhandlers off the streets could now do the exact opposite. The "There's a Better Way" program has been successful in Albuquerque since it started in 2016, helping thousands of people.
"It was kind of hard work, but I'll tell you, you only worked a little more than half a day, you made 50 dollars," said Steve Willert, who is homeless. "That was enough to get you through if you need food at the end of the day."
However, the City of Albuquerque said the program is currently on hold. The nonprofit Hopeworks decided not to continue it any longer.
"It just wasn't quite the right fit for them anymore," said Lisa Huval, the deputy director of housing and homelessness with the city's Family and Community Services Department.
The program was helping and paying 100 people a week.
"Well since they don't have the program, I've been dumpster diving downtown and panhandling," Willert said. "As you can see, I have a few things, just stuff to get me by and get a job again."
City officials said they hope another nonprofit will pick up the program.
"We think this is a great program," Huval said. "It meets many needs, it addresses panhandling."
City officials said not just anyone can take on the program because it does involving social services – connecting the homeless with resources. They will start taking bids later this month.
Even with a lot of interest from local nonprofits, city officials said the program will not run for at least three months.
Updated: October 18, 2019 06:22 PM
Created: October 18, 2019 01:08 PM
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