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Editor’s note: This is the second in a series about residents of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope’s Camp Hope tent city and the 2022 Tents to Rents fundraising campaign.
Anthony and Charlene both had children when they were younger, and they moved to Las Cruces earlier this year because Anthony’s adult son is living here. They needed a fresh break from too much sadness after the death of Anthony’s mother and sister, following on the loss of his son to gun violence.
When they first arrived (in Las Cruces), Anthony and Charlene were camping in locations around town, and they were not welcome, so they came to Camp Hope to find a better option. The staff at the camp has been welcoming and helped them find day labor to earn a little money through the (City of Las Cruces) Mano y Mano program. The work through Mano y Mano is mostly picking up litter and some landscaping work. On one of their workdays, Anthony and Charlene found an abandoned puppy, so they brought Sadie into their family because they knew what it felt like to not have a home and family.
Anthony said they are making good progress towards a more stable lifestyle. He has recently been able to sign up for health insurance, and they are in the process of applying for housing through Camp Hope and the local housing authority.
Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH) hopes to raise $100,000 or more during its 2022 Tents to Rents campaign to help move people like Anthony and Charlene into their apartments.
The Tents to Rents campaign began Aug. 15 and continues through Sept. 23.
Campaign participants raise funds for Tents to Rents by soliciting donations from family, friends, co-workers, churches and other groups and individuals. Sponsors and donors are also welcome.
Tents to Rents began in 2016, raising $13,000. In 2021, it raised almost $80,000. In its first six years, Tents to Rents has raised more than $200,000.
There are currently 45 residents of MVCH’s Camp Hope tent city. It costs about $7,800 to move a person who is struggling with homelessness into his or her own apartment.
To sign up as a participant or sponsor or to donate to Tents to Rents, contact MVCH Executive Director Nicole Martinez at 575-523-2219, extension 114, and email@example.com.