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Community of Hope relies on GO-Bond


 Dear Editor:
Mesilla Valley Community of Hope is a local, non-profit organization that serves the homeless and near-homeless population in our community. Our vision is a world in which homelessness and poverty are eradicated.

We work to provide the homeless population with shelter from transitional to permanent housing as quickly as possible. Last year we helped over one thousand people find safe, decent affordable housing. Often, we couple affordable housing
with coordinated services to help people maintain a stable home.

The benefits of providing this supportive housing to the most vulnerable – people with mental illness, chronic health conditions, histories of trauma--are direct and straightforward. Supportive housing resolves homelessness, improves mental and physical health, and lowers the public costs of medical, police, and jail services.

Despite our best efforts, over 150 people were sleeping on the streets in January. We have the vouchers to house more homeless, but we cannot find affordable apartments to rent.
In the last few years, we have seen a tremendous reduction of available housing units. Part of this is because of the rapid increase in rents; in large companies taking over smaller property management companies and imposing stricter tenant
rules and eligibility screening; and the massive increase of properties being used as vacation rentals.

We have an opportunity to help the City meet its goal of providing attainable housing for all residents. Please join us in asking our City Council to support a $6 million general obligation bond to build more affordable housing for all residents including those who are most in need.

Nicole Martinez
Director, Mesilla Valley Community of Hope