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An Inspiring Way Out of Homelessness for New Mexico Women and Children

Posted by on February 26, 2013


Homelessness is a devastating experience for families. It disrupts virtually every aspect of family life. It damages the physical and emotional health of family members and interferes with children’s education and development. The sooner a family is stabilized and able to return to permanent housing, the more successful the family will be in breaking their cycle of homelessness. With less income available for housing, food, and necessities, many families are only an accident, illness, or paycheck away from becoming homeless. Nearly 40% of the homeless population consists of families with children.

The Barrett Foundation is a New Mexico not-for-profit organization established in 1984 for the purposes of serving Albuquerque’s homeless women and children.

Its first program was Barrett House, an emergency shelter founded in 1985. The shelter can house up to 23 women and 20 children and is located in a beautiful 12,000 sq.ft. facility that was built in 2005. Women can stay up to four weeks and receive meals, clothing, case management services, and emotional support.

In 1988 the Casa Milagro program was established. This program is designed to address the needs of women who are over the age of 40 and diagnosed with chronic mental illness. This is a group home setting, and clients can stay for up to 18 months while receiving psychosocial rehabilitation services.

In 1997, the Barrett Foundation added the Bridges to Self-Sufficiency supportive housing program to address the needs of non-disabled women with or without children. This program is a collaborative effort with three other agencies to provide supportive housing to clients who are motivated to move towards independent housing and self-sufficiency. Participants must be employed or attending school and can stay in the program for up to 24 months.

Through an incredible gift in 1999, the Barrett Foundation purchased a 16-unit apartment complex that provides supportive permanent housing to graduates of Casa Milagro. The Casa Verde program provides necessary Aftercare services to recent graduates and is complemented by an Art Therapy component.

In 2004, the Barrett Foundation added Casa Socorro, yet another permanent housing program that was started as a pilot project to serve chronically homeless women. This project is yet another collaborative effort with three other agencies. All of these clients were homeless for more than one year or were homeless more than four times the previous three years at the time of admission and have a mental disability. Clients receive case management services once a week.

The Barrett Foundation truly makes a difference in the lives of over 650 women and children every year. Although our clients come from many walks of life, they all have things in common – the need for safe housing, nutritious meals, counseling, emotional support, and hope for a better tomorrow.

-The Barret Foundation

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