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Homeless Coalition plans to run thrift store, provide training

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Between 50 to 60 people dealing with homelessness have been helped into housing by the Roswell Homeless Coalition and its programs during the past year, says Joel Wood, president of the group’s board of directors. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The Roswell Homeless Coalition has served about 212 people since assuming management of two shelters in fall 2017, with about 25 to 30 percent of their residents able to transition into their own housing arrangements.

Several board members, including Jeneva Martinez and Joel Wood, president of the coalition and also pastor of Waymaker Church, gave some updates about the nonprofit and its activities at a Thursday afternoon meeting.

• Eastern New Mexico Medical Center expects to complete the transfer of ownership of its former thrift shop on East Wildy Street to the coalition in about a week, said Brooke Linthicum, ENMMC marketing director and a coalition board member. The thrift store will raise funds for the shelters and provide job training for shelter residents.

• Jessi Gibson has become the new director of the coalition. She joined in November and formerly worked in education and corrections in New Mexico and Texas.

• The women’s shelter on East Bland Street has undergone a complete renovation. Work continues on the men’s shelter at East Albuquerque Street as funding becomes available. The group’s immediate plans include erecting a privacy fence around the property. Eventually, the shelter needs a night manager’s room, a HVAC system and an office, as well as other upgrades and improvements.

• The group raised a little more than $21,000 from its November fundraiser, the Rock, Run ‘N’ Roll event, and about $17,000 from its Hearts of Gold Christmas fundraiser. It has completed an application for United Way funding and expects to hear about those funds in March.

• The group is seeking community members to join a new advisory council that will assist the board of directors. Volunteers with expertise in fundraising, volunteer coordination, project management or other areas of nonprofit management are encouraged to join.

• Volunteers for the point-in-time survey to begin Tuesday are still being sought. The biennial survey, done as part of a statewide effort for about 10 years, seeks to determine how many people were without shelter on Monday, Jan. 28. The data is used to determine how to meet the needs of those experiencing homelessness, to plan for affordable housing projects and to provide potential funders of housing, food or social services programs.

To volunteer or for more information, contact the coalition director at jessica@roswellhomelesscoalition.com.