Here is a brief overview of the many ways the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness is working with its member agencies toward the goal of ending homelessness in New Mexico.
Coordinated Assessment System
The Coalition manages the New Mexico Coordinated Assessment System, which is a system to help connect people experiencing homelessness to supportive housing programs. Agencies that participate in the Coordinated Assessment System use a common assessment tool to determine what types of housing and support would best help a homeless individual or family obtain housing. The Coalition’s Coordinated Assessment System staff use the Homeless Management Information System to identify who is in most need of supportive housing, based on the results of the common assessment tool, and which supportive housing programs have openings. The Coordinated Assessment System is currently in its pilot phase which is focused on helping chronically homeless people obtain permanent supportive housing. Over time the Coordinated Assessment System will expand to include everyone experiencing homelessness, including families with children and unaccompanied youth.
The Coalition advocates for solutions to homelessness at the local, state and federal levels. The Coalition sponsors an annual lobby day during the state legislative session where many of our members spend a day educating state law makers about legislative solutions to homelessness and the importance of investing state funding in programs that help people experiencing homelessness. The Coalition also works with the Cities of Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces on local plans to address homelessness. The Coalition also coordinates with national partners to advocate for the solutions to homelessness with our New Mexico delegation to Congress.
Click here for current legislative priorities.
Continuum of Care
The Coalition coordinates the annual application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for Continuum of Care (CoC) funding. CoC funds are used to provide permanent supportive housing, transitional housing, rapid rehousing and services to people experiencing homelessness. New Mexico submits two CoC applications each year, and the Coalition coordinates both of them. One application is for Albuquerque and the other application is for all areas outside Albuquerque. The two CoC applications involve over 60 projects all over New Mexico and are the culmination of year round planning.
Homeless Management Information System
The Coalition manages the New Mexico Homeless Management Information System. HMIS is an online centralized database designed to collect client-level information on the characteristics and services needs of people experiencing homelessness. HMIS allows homeless services agencies to track and report key client demographics and program outcomes. HMIS also allows us to examine how we are doing as a local community, region and state in meeting the needs of people experiencing homelessness. The HMIS is a joint project of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessnes, the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority and the City of Albuquerque.
The Coalition is the state lead for SOAR in New Mexico. SOAR is a nationally-used model for helping people who are homeless and who have a disability successfully apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). SOAR stands for SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery. In New Mexico, 70% of SSI/SSDI applications that are completed using the SOAR model are approved on initial application, and they are approved with an average of 100 days. The Coalition organizes SOAR trainings to train direct service workers on how to use the SOAR model and provides ongoing support as they complete SOAR applications. In addition, the Coalition coordinates SOAR Steering Committees in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe in order to build the system change needed to make SOAR a success.
Technical Assistance and Workshops
The Coalition offers several types of technical assistance and support to our member organizations with the goal of helping our members provide strong, sustainable programs based on best practices. The Coalition provides one-on-one technical assistance to organizations that want to strengthen their current programs or develop new supportive housing programs. We also offer workshops throughout the year on best practices for helping homeless people obtain and maintain permanent housing.
The Coalition sponsors an annual one day “Housing for All” conference in the spring of each year in Albuquerque. The conference brings together national and local experts to train those working on the front lines of ending homelessness about current research and best practices as well as to provide an opportunity for us to inspire each other.