Since the COVID-19 shutdown in March, Opportunity Santa Fe funding has allowed the organizations in Santa Fe ¡Convive!, Many Mothers and Gerard’s House, to provide emergency support to the families they serve. Both agencies have been distributing diapers to families, and Many Mothers has expanded this service to include baby food, formula, and fresh food (in partnership with Reunity Resources and Daya). The agencies are working to secure additional funding to provide rent and utilities assistance to families as well.
As one example, Gerard’s House supported a mom who immigrated from Guatemala last year. Due to COVID-19, she had lost her job, and her partner’s hours were severely reduced. The mom’s apartment manager asked her to renew her lease, but because of the language barrier she did not fully understand the conversation. She later received a notice she had 30 days to leave. Despite Gerard’s House’s efforts to advocate for the family and explain to the manager why she hadn’t renewed her lease, they did not allow the family to stay. The mom has a 4-year-old son and a baby, and she is the guardian of her teenage niece. No one in the home qualifies for any government assistance except for the baby. The family had no idea how they would afford another place.
Through the efforts of Gerard’s House staff and other agencies that were working with the mom, the family now has a home! Gerard’s House helped her pay for the deposit and Las Cumbres and Adelante are able to help pay the first month of rent.