Spotlight on Services
For nearly 30 years, the Greater Albuquerque Housing Partnership (GAHP) has been creating exceptional housing communities known for their quality and affordability. GAHP prides itself on providing housing that is affordable to underserved community members, particularly seniors and families with low incomes. In today’s housing market, this has become exceedingly important so that individuals and families are not unduly cost-burdened by paying more than 30% and, in some cases, up to 50% of their income on rent.
However, the second part of our mission is just as, if not more, important. GAHP also provide enrichment services to our residents to support household stability, healthy families, and safer neighborhoods. We provide GAHP residents opportunities to improve their health and education, connect with needed services, and pursue their professional goals. Enrichment services include a bi-weekly food pantry, social events, fitness classes, tutoring, job seeker assistance, resume writing workshops, and technology assistance workshops.
GAHP residents appreciate that there are resources available right where they live. They don’t have to go far or struggle to find resources. Ameerah Suina-Thomas, GAHP’s Social Engagement Specialist explains, “if they express a need, we can say, “we offer this!” or we know enough that we can connect them with the right people.”
GAHP recently held its first Food Pantry at our newest community, Luminaria Senior Community. David Poole, GAHP’s Enrichment Services Coordinator explained that the Food Pantry, provided in partnership with Roadrunner Food Bank, will occur bi-weekly. The inaugural event attracted dozens of residents who were able to choose food items that will help stretch their food budget and get them through the next couple of weeks. “God bless you,” one resident stated as he left with his food, “thank you.”
Partnerships are Key
To offer services, GAHP partners with several organizations and individuals. One of our most treasured and long-term partnerships is with First Nations Community HealthSource. First Nations provides health services in Albuquerque to American Indian/Alaskan Native families and other underserved populations residing in Albuquerque and the surrounding areas. Besides myriad health and wellness services, housing programs, and resources for Native families, First Nations offers services for people experiencing homelessness, survivors of human trafficking, people living with AIDS, and many others.
First Nations has partnered with GAHP since 2014 to provide many of the services offered at our apartment communities. They provide health screening, tutoring, technology assistance, resume building, and job search assistance. “This is one of our most important partnerships,” explains David, “they cover more areas than anyone else for what we need.”
Manny Mandel is a public health nurse for First Nations. He sees his role as a bridge between residents and their health care providers. “We like coming regularly to the properties because it gives us a chance to build trust,” relates Manny, “We had a client at Cuatro who came routinely to the health screenings and presented with hypertension. I made sure she got connected with her health care provider so she could manage her high blood pressure effectively.”
Manny uses the time he has at the health screenings to provide education and resources. He not only provides educational brochures about managing high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and diet, he also recommends services at First Nations for those who don’t have a medical provider. “We have an array of services that people can connect to at any time,” he explains.
Meeting Resident Needs
Various services are offered depending on the apartment community. Tutoring is offered at our family-oriented communities after school and is available to students who live at the apartments or students who are under the care of one of our residents, like a grandparent who babysits. At our senior communities, we offer eligibility screenings and application assistance for Medicare/Medicaid. “We try to combine the health screening services with Food Pantry weeks or other special events so we can reach more people,” states David. At other properties where most people are working during the day, health screening events occur after 5pm. The Enrichment Services team and our partners are also known for going above and beyond. David describes a situation where a resident lost her job and needed immediate assistance building a new resume. “We were able to schedule a special session to help her,” he said.
Our Enrichment Services team work diligently to get the word out to all residents with flyers posted in the leasing office and/or posting flyers door-to-door. The entire enrichment services schedule is posted on our website and residents are urged to follow their apartment community on Facebook to stay apprised of news and announcements.
For more information on GAHP’s enrichment services, visit www.abqgahp.org/enrichment-services
For more information and to donate to First Nations, visit www.fnch.org
For more information and to donate to Roadrunner Food Bank, visit www.rrfb.org