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Dona Ana County homeless prevention and rapid rehousing.

Anyone close to homelessness can get help from agencies that work to (1) prevent it from occurring as well as (2) rehousing people impacted. The resources in the Dona Ana County community are extensive. Families, individuals, veterans, the disabled, as well as single moms and dads are some of the main recipients of homeless prevention and rapid rehousing or the ESG grants from RAP (Rental Assistance program), and all are assisted in different capacities.

The assistance available falls into three categories. Each depends on what the client needs. But there may be one or more of the following.

(1)Prevention for evictions, foreclosures, or legal disputes
(2)Rehousing of the homeless into shelters, transitional housing, and new apartments
(3)Specialty focused programs in Dona Ana County, including SSVF for veterans, Housing First, and more.

Homeless Prevention and RAP help

There are two administering agencies. They include the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope as well as Southwestern Regional Housing & Community Development Corporation. Depending on the need, and the category above, this will drive which form of homeless prevention and rapid rehousing is offered. It also determines the type of aid, and that may also be one of many solutions. They include:

(1)Grants for paying arrears on rent, utility bills, mortgages, moving expenses, or even the security deposit for a new place to live.
(2)Legal support or mediation between banks, lenders, and the clients.
(3)Loans for short term financial help.

(4)Applications to government benefits, which funds can be used to pay for housing. There may be money from SSI, section 811 programs for the disabled, veteran rent programs, and more. Or learn about section 8 housing in New Mexico.
(5)Short term placement into a shelter or transitional housing for homeless families.
(6)Other forms of eviction or mortgage help may be explored too.




A combination of resources may be offered in Dona Ana County. What is often the case is no situation is the same. Some clients need more direct financial support due to a short term hardship, while other low income/working poor families need counseling around employment, career building, and more from Las Cruces based agencies. As generally the best way to stop homelessness, or to rehouse a homeless person, is a combination of financial aid along with counseling/advice, etc.

How to get homeless prevention in Dona Ana County

Not only may different solutions be used, but different agencies in Dona Ana County are also involved. Some provide grant based funding to local charities, and the primary one is the United Way which can be reached at 211. Some of the local agencies provide direct, one time financial aid or loans for everything from back rent to relocation fees. The Salvation army in Dona Ana County is one such group that works to stop homelessness from the Rental Assistance Program (RAP).

Most of the local assistance is for tenants who rent, and this is RAP. As there are often struggles in that group. In addition, the cost to an agency as well as the Las Cruces community in general to prevent an eviction is generally much less costly that seeing the person get evicted. It is also better than needing to rehousing a family; so various homeless prevention efforts are made.

Dona Ana County homeowners also have options available to them to stop a foreclosure. The homeless assistance is generally from mediation as well as payment plans from a bank or lender. Those companies all partner together in an effort to coordinate mortgage solutions. Or they will even help an income qualified low income person find a home. A leading place to call for support is a non-profit HUD counseling agency.

Additional Dona Ana County homeless prevention in the region is of course rapid rehousing. This is focused on anyone that is currently homeless. Groups that tend to specialize in this include the Continuum of Care as well as churches, Salvation Army, and the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope of Dona Ana County among others. They help keep people off the streets or unsafe living conditions. Some resources are also focused on people fleeing domestic violence, which is also critical to keep them safe.





Phone number for homeless prevention programs

Anyone that is struggling, and that may be near or living homeless, should seek help. Ideally ask for homeless assistance before the event occurs. As after being moved from a current home or accommodation, the solutions are both more limited as well as costly. For details, or referrals, dial Mesilla Valley Community of Hope at (575) 523-2219 or Southwestern Regional Housing & Community Development Corporation at (575) 546-4181.


By Jon McNamara

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