KOB Eyewitness News reporter, Kai Porter, covered the June 5 press conference. Watch his report below.
Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category
Watch this great video that explains our emerging work with veterans.
Learn more about Albuquerque Heading Home from this promotional video produced by our friends at Albuquerque Community Foundation. This was used for a fundraising breakfast and features three of our wonderful neighbors.
“This Morning” host, Elizabeth sat down with our CEO on Thursday, March 6, to ask about Albuquerque Heading Home.
Last week, we got news that our Heading Home Documentary was nominated for a 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy! The film is nominated for Politics/Government-Program Feature/Segment or Program/Special. We’d like to give a special shout out to our friends at GOV-TV and the City of Albuquerque for helping us tell our story and the stories of the people we serve. Congratulations to Dave Mathews (Director), Diego Lucero (Producer/Editor), Randy Moss (Producer/Videographer), Michael Patrick (Producer/Editor) and Robin Otten (Executive Producer) on your nomination!
The Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) announced its 2013 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards Gala and Auction. Each year, NATAS Chapters across the country recognize and reward excellence in their broadcasting communities. Since 1976 the Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter has done this through the annual Rocky Mountain Emmy (R) Awards. The event will take place on Saturday, October 19 at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Some of the City of Albuquerque’s most vulnerable, sickest and desperate people are in a better place now.
A year and a half’s worth of work has helped put more than 130 of Albuquerque’s chronically homeless in homes.
The City documented its efforts in locating the homeless and getting them into apartments.
KOB Eyewitness News 4 reporter Chris Ramirez attended the premiere screening of the film Monday night and reports his personal involvement with the project.
A year ago, the City of Albuquerque promised to put a roof over the heads of the city’s most vulnerable homeless people.
Today, city officials said the Heading Home initiative has placed 76 people, one more than the program’s goal, into homes.
“This program is not only housing our most vulnerable, it’s united families together,” Dennis Plummer, Albuquerque Heading Home director said.
During the press conference, the city showcased a story KOB Eyewitness News 4 reported about one client.
Simon Aragon said a heroin addiction left him on the streets and in jail for decades.
Immediately after the story aired, Aragon’s daughter called and said she thought her father was dead.
The two later reunited for the first time in 14 years.
During Thursday’s celebration, Mayor Richard Berry set a goal to house 90 more people by February 2013.
Robin Dozier Otten, City of Albuquerque Family & Community Service Department director, and Dennis Plummer, Metropolitan Homeless Project, join Nicole Brady to discuss the city’s homeless initiative.
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City: Housing Homeless Saves Public Money
By Chelsea Erven | New Mexico Daily Lobo
City: Housing Homeless Saves Public Money
Published April 25, 2011 in News
Data compiled by the city finds housing some of Albuquerque’s homeless is cheaper than leaving them on the streets.
Mayor Richard Berry’s Heading Home initiative aims to house 75 of the city’s “most vulnerable” homeless, but the initiative’s primary concern is to save money, said Chris Ramirez, a spokesman for Berry.
Ramirez said vulnerability was determined with both need and cost in mind.
“This model surveys the entire homeless community, and through a vulnerability index, determines who are the most needy and costly to the public sector,” he said.
Berry launched the initiative in early January. It surveyed hundreds of homeless and selected the 75 “most vulnerable” to be placed in city-funded housing.
Ramirez said the initiative aims to defray the economic impact of homelessness by reducing public dollars spent on hospitalizations, ER visits, jail time and calls for public safety service.
“We believe these types of public expenditures go down when people have a safe home to live in,” he said.
The most expensive person surveyed, who was also considered one of the 75 “most vulnerable,” cost the city more than $100,000 last year. The individual reported 30 inpatient hospitalizations and 120 emergency room visits.
Albuquerque Fire Department firefighter Jose Gomez said the economic impact of homelessness is “huge.”
“The economic impact is significant, just in fuel wasted going to pick them up,” he said.
Last year, the Albuquerque Fire Department responded to more than 3,000 “down-and-out” calls from homeless people suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, and Gomez said those calls account for nearly 80 percent of his station’s calls.
Another fireman, Derrick Ross, said responding to a high volume of “down-and-out” calls limits the number of other calls AFD can respond to.
“You take units out of service that could be responding to other calls,” he said. “You take out an ambulance, which frequently is what we call level zero, meaning they have no other units available to respond because they’re taking a drunk guy to the hospital.”
Ambulance rides aren’t free. Ross said a ride costs the city about $500. He also said once they’re dropped off at the hospital, homeless people take up space in the emergency room.
Mike Chicarelli, spokesman for UNM Hospital, said homeless people account for about 10 percent of the hospital’s 95,000 emergency room visits each year.
“We see at least one a day,” he said.
Chicarelli said the emergency room visit can cost between $100-$5,000 depending on the case. He said nurses and doctors often don’t know a person is homeless until after the visit is complete.
“In many cases, we have to eat the bill,” he said.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
“Starting a New Life in a Home of His Own”
By Leslie Linthicum
Journal Staff Writer
Anthony Cordray’s routine for the past decade has revolved around a mile-square block of Downtown Albuquerque.
Breakfast at the Albuquerque Rescue Mission around 6 a.m., then a walk north to St. Martin’s Hospitality Center for a shower. Albuquerque HealthCare for the Homeless is a few blocks away for a cup of coffee and a medical or dental appointment or some socializing in the courtyard.
For lunch, it’s back Downtown to Noon Day Ministries, then a job moving furniture if one avails itself or to a park with whatever novel he’s reading if one doesn’t. At 5 p.m., he heads back to the Rescue Mission for dinner. After dinner, Cordray peels off from the others and goes to the sleeping spot where he has stashed his belongings and settles in for a restless night.
Cordray has been homeless in Albuquerque, except for a stint in prison, since 2002. He has lived on the streets nearly continuously since he turned 18.
“It’s a very addicting lifestyle,” Cordray told me the other day as we sat together Downtown. “You’re not going to go hungry here. There’s food everywhere. Showers, clothes, medical. You basically don’t need for anything except a place to stay.”
It’s also dangerous, tiring and really boring.
You spend the day on the move to keep from being hassled or arrested. You worry about your stuff being stolen. You spend hours waiting for the next thing to happen. And you sleep with one eye open, hoping somebody doesn’t roll you for your sleeping bag or your bus pass.
Cordray is not a young man anymore, and he is ready for a different life, one that’s more settled, safer, with a purpose.
“I’m way ready,” he told me. “I’m tired.”
In February, when the Albuquerque Heading Home organization fanned out across Albuquerque in the coldest cold snap the city had ever seen, volunteers walked the streets trying to identify and interview all the city’s homeless. After the homeless census was complete, all the data from those interviews was plugged into a computer program to identify the 75 most vulnerable homeless people. Characteristics associated with vulnerability, according to the survey, are age, time spent on the street, injuries, diseases, mental health issues, and visits to jails, prisons and hospitals.
When Cordray took that survey on a cold afternoon on Gold Street Downtown, his answers made bells ring.
He is 49 and has been homeless for most of 30 years. He has shattered his hand slugging a guy who was bothering him while he slept, he has hepatitis C and problems with alcohol, he’s bipolar, and he has post-traumatic stress disorder from childhood abuse in a series of foster homes. Cordray did stints in prison in Los Lunas and Grants for battery on a police officer in a domestic dispute with a girlfriend’s family and, due to persistent viral papilloma growths in his throat, he has had surgery dozens of times.
With all of that, Cordray had the distinction of scoring highest on the vulnerability ranking, making him Albuquerque’s No. 1 most vulnerable homeless person.
Albuquerque Heading Home’s survey was more than just an exercise in information gathering. Its purpose was to match the 75 most vulnerable with apartments or rental homes, moving them to safer, more stable ground for a one-year period.
Much of the motivation is humanitarian; it’s not the mark of a great city to have people sleeping under bridges.
But Dennis Plummer of the Metropolitan Homelessness Project said there’s also a bean-counter component. If more of the homeless find safe and comfortable accommodations — homes — their health might stabilize, they might use fewer social services, or at least less expensive ones, and they might be able to work or go to school.
For Cordray, an apartment is a chance at a different life. Cordray went apartment shopping with his case manager at HealthCare for the Homeless and picked out a one-bedroom unit in a complex in the Northeast Heights. It’s on the second floor with a balcony, and there’s a pool, a gym and a computer room.
Cordray will pay $64 a month from his general assistance income toward rent, and a voucher from the Supportive Housing Coalition of New Mexico will pick up the rest. The staff at New Mexico Legal Aid’s Albuquerque office has taken care of furnishings.
Cordray has all sorts of plans. He wants to learn how to use a computer, to take classes at Central New Mexico Community College and eventually to get a dog.
Those are the big things. But the small things are what make Cordray break into a smile.
To be able to decide what he wants for dinner and make it. “I love to cook,” Cordray says.
To decorate and hang his clothes in a closet and sleep soundly.
“Being in my own place, in the quiet,” Cordray tells me, “I can’t wait. I’m going to hibernate.”
Cordray signed his lease and picked up his keys Friday. We’ll check in with him from time to time to see how he’s doing in his new life at home.
UpFront is a daily front-page news and opinion column. Comment directly to Leslie at 823-3914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.