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Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series about residents of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope’s Camp Hope tent city.
Jennette is a member of the Camp Hope (tent city) staff with a big heart and an arsenal of tools to help the most vulnerable. She joined the staff as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer over two years ago and when the position of Camp Hope outreach coordinator opened, she jumped at the chance to run Camp Hope.
Jeanette helps camp residents access housing, income, food and medical and psychological services, but ultimately, she said her most important tool is respect.
“No one chooses to be homeless,” said Jeanette, who works to build trust and community among residents and to help them move from just surviving to thriving.
Despite the days in the camp that are too hot, too windy and when everyone is feeling a little frustrated, Jeanette says her days in the camp bring her joy, as she is able to help people move to more safe, secure and healthy places in their lives.
Jeanette is so dedicated that she even often drops by on her days off, recently coming on Mothers’ Day to bring food for a cookout to prepare a nice meal for the mothers in the camp community. She feels most gratified when someone says, “I trust Jennette, she listens to us.”
Mesilla Valley Community of Hope has set a fundraising goal of $100,000 or more during its 2022 Tents to Rents campaign, which 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 events and activities. 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 donate, contact Executive Director Nicole Martinez at 575-523-2219, extension 114, and email@example.com.