First United Methodist Church and IHN emergency services.

Whether someone is unemployed or facing a short term crisis, First United Methodist Church  is an agency to call upon. The charity and the churches that are part of if will offer limited financial aid for expenses such as rent, utility bills or a security deposit while also distributing basic needs. Other support will be employment workshops such as those for English for Speakers of Other Languages or credit counseling.

The charity, which is part of Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN), operates across the county of Bernalillo. While they will try to meet all requests, the fact is that resources are limited. So priority is for senior citizens or households with children, including single parents. Various forms of assistance are provided by the agency as noted below.

Any energy bill or rental assistance is usually the result of funds from the Emergency Food and Shelter Assistance, or EFSA. Grants will be provided to assist income qualified individuals and families in need of support. The goal is to help the client avoid an eviction.

This means that money may be offered for paying utility bills, including water or electric. Other more direct housing payments can be issued by First United Methodist Church for rent and mortgage costs, and the non-profit will also provide temporary shelter, money for security deposits and food to the currently homeless.

Weatherization was designed to reduce energy consumption. While the charity does not run this service, they can refer people to it. It will help by reducing the energy bills of low-income families, so this negates the need for grants from EFSA. So weatherization eliminates the dependency on financial support from any one of a number of program. On average, Albuquerque New Mexico homeowners will save anywhere from $300 to $400 per year on their expenditures.

The disabled as well as elderly in Bernalillo County can sign up for Meals on Wheels. The non-profit will deliver free meals each week to the working poor and low-income, sick, and/or homebound. The client will also have the benefit of a staff member dropping in to check on their health and overall welfare. Participants in the program receive seven free frozen meals each week. So boxes of food given to them may also have milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, ensure and other food items.




A food pantry and First United Methodist Church run clothing closet also assist the needy. Any goods passed out depend on availability. Gift Cards as well as vouchers will be utilized for residents from Bernalillo County with documented emergencies, so proof of hardship is needed.

First United Methodist Church will try to offer emergency food support to families at risk of hunger and homelessness. Children can also be supported in the form of free summer snacks or applications to school lunches offered by the state of New Mexico. They also partner with other non-profits such as the local Feeding America center.

The objective of the pantry as well as Meals on Wheels is to provide a consistent source of nourishment for food-insecure community members of the community. The agency will also offer referrals for those people who are unable to seek out other public assistance on their own.

During certain times of the year, there will be a free weekly distribution of clothing held by First United Methodist Church or its faith based partners. Items may be coats, shoes, winter coats, school supplies, and more. The program is for needy, school age children, job-seekers and homeless during program services. The objective is to ensure that clients’ basic clothing needs are met and to provide them with free material goods that will help the person boost their job potential.

As noted, case managers from the IHN network will also help families in poverty apply for public aid. Some programs include LIHEAP/SNAP/and WIC. Other applications in New Mexico can include SSI disability. The non-profit will offer screening and help clients complete applications to these programs.

First United Methodist Church will also pre-screen the individual for other social service benefits they may qualify for, whether section 8 or something else. The objective is to support a more sustainable solution to homeless prevention as well as food insecurity. The First United Methodist Church network will also ease the process of documentation for the community and to provide counseling as well as education for a more independent life.





As far as job placement or education, one key service is ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages. This is mostly for immigrants and/or non-English speaking low income individuals in Albuquerque. Others that want to touch up on their skills can also register.

Other budgeting and credit counseling is addressed by a class known as Financial Fresh Start. Counselors from First United Methodist Church or partners, such as credit counseling agencies in Bernalillo County, will hold classes. There will also be one on one mentorship given. Another component is assistance to create household spending plans all designed to save people money and build savings.

Topics discussed will be on avoiding Predatory Lending as well as Credit Enhancement and foreclosure prevention. This includes the development of a restoration plan based on wise use of credit, credit report analysis, effective budgeting and opening bank accounts. The client will be given the knowledge to discern a credible lending institution from a company who is seeking to set unfair terms with borrowers. For more details, the network can be contacted at 2801 Lomas Blvd NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 For referrals and intake, call (505)268-0331.




By Jon McNamara

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