For years, the vast majority of the Storehouse clients have been the working poor. People who have apartments and one or more jobs, but who still struggle with food insecurity. In short, they barely make ends meet. Today, that is still common. However, we have definitely seen a rise in unhoused people who count on the pantry. Many sofa-surf with friends or family. Some are living solely on the street. Every person who comes to the Storehouse leaves with some kind of food, and we also see the need to work with other organizations to help people who are hungry and homeless. That includes people who recently found housing but need to address their food insecurity. In 2022, we began working with the Hope Village program of HopeWorks, which is an organization that has been addressing homelessness since 1985.
Hope Village provides permanent supportive housing and programs for residents. The overall goals involve helping people become drug free and off the streets. For several months, the Storehouse has been making sure the people living at Hope Village have food to eat to support their path out of homelessness.
How the Storehouse Got Connected to Hope Village
The Storehouse team began working with Hope Village via long-time clients who became residents there. The clients had empty pantries in their new kitchens that needed filling. As a result, the Storehouse decided to see if other people living at the Hope Village might also need the pantry’s support. After all, it takes more than a roof over your head to make a stable home. If the Storehouse could help, we wanted to be part of the solution.
Beginning in April 2022, the Storehouse has made weekly deliveries to the Hope Village site. Each delivery is tailored to the needs set out by the residents and done in partnership with HopeWorks. It has been wonderful to see clients thrive and find the stability they need with housing, food, and other supports.
Homelessness in Our Community
According to the National Coalition to End Homelessness, over 11,000 individuals and families can experience homelessness in Albuquerque in any given year. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reports that between shelters, emergency rooms, and jails, it costs our community, on average, approximately $40,000 per year for a person experiencing homelessness to remain on the streets. The City of Albuquerque states that there are only 830 shelter beds available for the homeless year-round.
With Hope Village, HopeWorks wanted to make a lasting difference for people who were experiencing homelessness.
“We believe that housing is a fundamental right and you can’t work on any other issues until you are housed. Once you are housed, that’s such a stabilizing factor then you can begin to tackle some of these other things and challenges in your life.” – Hopeworks CEO, Annam Manthiram
Lots of factors play a role in homelessness in New Mexico. For example, lower graduation rates, higher unemployment than the national average, high costs for housing, and only marginal growth in wages and personal income. More impoverished individuals and families are unable to afford housing.
Of course, these causes also lead these same people to wonder where their next meals might come from. That is why the Storehouse wants to help with this project. Working together with HopeWorks, the Storehouse can support Hope Village and truly make a difference in the lives of formerly unhoused people in our community.
Beyond Hope Village – Ways we Can Support the Unhoused
The Storehouse can and does provide food to people experiencing homelessness. Please visit our Need Food page for our hours of operation and information on how to get a cart of free groceries. Also, be sure to tell our team members if you don’t have a kitchen to prepare your food. You might not be able to cook a whole frozen chicken, but we have pop-tops of soups and stews that you can use more easily.
We also offer hygiene kits and we have also begun to offer grocery delivery for people who lack transportation or who have trouble getting to the pantry. Let us know what you need and we’ll provide what we can.