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New Mexico community action agency assistance programs.

Residents of New Mexico can turn to community action agencies for assistance. The non-profit organizations will work with low income families, seniors, the unemployed, and others on self-sufficiency. In addition, case managers can help clients apply for financial assistance programs, grants, and other short term financial aid. A summary of the services offered, including job training, are below.

Credit and budgeting assistance

Individuals can get help saving money and building assets from the IDA, Individual Development Account. So this encourages New Mexico families to save money as they will be provided with matching grants. The money does need to be used to pay for a home, education, or starting a business, so there are conditions to the IDA. Many participants will also need to attend budgeting or financial literacy classes.

First time home buying services are available in New Mexico. Many community action agencies help organize sessions and workshops for those looking for support or advice. Get information on financing, building or moving into a new home. Specialists can offer credit counseling or even direct people to housing repair services. Some agencies may also help potential homeowners apply for down payment assistance or USDA Rural Development Home Loans.

Community action employment and job programs

The Business Development Program can help the self-employed and provide them with information and resources. Workshops and classes can help with Licensing, State of New Mexico and Federal Government Taxation, Business Incorporation, Basics of Banking, Loans, Bookkeeping, and Credit Counseling. Many community action agencies try to support small businesses in the area, so these are some of the programs and resources that are available.

Migrant and seasonal farm workers can look into the National Farmworker Jobs Program. This is a nationally directed program of employment assistance and job training for those who qualify. The goal is to help counter the impact of the chronic underemployment and unemployment of migrant and seasonal farm workers in New Mexico.




This is a component of the Workforce Investment Act. WIA offers funding to community action agencies and other non-profits. These organizations and local public agencies can assist migrant farm workers and their families. The objective is to help them achieve greater economic stability, gain new skills and increase their income. A number of regional offices are located across the State of New Mexico, and they are focused on helping the less fortunate.

As indicated above, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) can prepare people for work and also assist them with finding employment. There are One Stop centers set up across New Mexico. Specialists at these locations can sign people up for education, job training, and other assistance. Programs can help adults as well as youth who range in age from 14 to 21.

Some of the core services offered include skill assessment, access to other core services of the Local One Stop Center, Job search, and more. Community action agencies also will refer individuals and the unemployed to resources.

Job training can be arranged. Clients can sign up for occupational skills and assessment training, case management, educational services, and maybe even internerships or work experience. Some real life experiences can go a long way to helping people find a new or better job.





Emergency financial assistance and grants in New Mexico

Covering Kids is a service that can assist families, individuals, and children in obtaining free or maybe low cost health insurance. It is only offered to those who cannot afford private insurance on their own. Case managers will advocate for families with the State of New Mexico Income Support Division in obtaining Medicaid.  The Covering Kids program will also allow your local agency to assist families with completing an application for this health care program. It may be offered for children up to 19 years old, women who are pregnant, family planning purposes and adults who meet conditions and who range in age from 19-64 years old.

The Community Service Block Grant is administered by most New Mexico agencies. The CSBG program can help low-income families and individuals meet their obligations and put them on the path to stabilization. As funding allows, it offers emergency help in a variety of forms. Low income families can receive food, Rent or Mortgage Assistance, help with tax preparation, Medical and utility bill assistance and more. Clients will also be signed up for and enrolled in case management and individuals will also have access to information and referrals.

Head Start serves many communities across New Mexico. The federally funded program provides a number of services to babies and toddlers and children under the age of 6. Counselors and specialists also work with expectant mothers and the entire family, as they will have the most influence over a child’s development. Head Start offers educational services, free food and health care, and in general will lay the foundation for long term success.

While limited, an Emergency Rent/Mortgage Assistance Program may be offered. This can help individuals who are faced with a crisis that was not caused by them. A focus is on issuing grants or cash when someone is faced with an eviction, or maybe a foreclosure.

Other funds may be offered for emergency needs as well. If you are faced with a disconnection, then funds may be offered for utilities. Or look into eye care, prescription medications, or medical assistance.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program is an option for income qualified families in New Mexico. Food, meals, and groceries are offered to women who are pregnant, children under age 6 (not on WIC), breastfeeding or have an infant under 12 months (if not on WIC), or Seniors 60 years and older. Clients can receive monthly nutritious foods, recipes, counseling and basic nutrition information.

Crisis aid can be arranged, oftentimes in partnership with other charities and government organizations in New Mexico. Agencies offer free food boxes, commodities, sign people up for the Salvation Army Good Neighbor Fund (utility assistance), EFSP and other assistance programs. All of these community action agency resources are designed to give clients a hand up in dealing their situation, and these are not intended to be a handout/charity aid. The CSBG grant program may also have funds for paying rent or mortgage. Assistance may be provided for past due bills or housing costs if the applicant meets the income guidelines.







Various forms of other emergency relief may be available if people provide required documentation and meet income limits. The state may have prescription assistance, food, and other aid.

Receive heating and cooling bill assistance from the low income energy assistance program, or LIHEAP. This is the primary federal government resource for helping low income families in New Mexico with paying utility bills. Grants can be disbursed for paying all different types of fuel, including gas, wood, electricity, pellets, propane, and more. Many recipients of LIHEAP will also be enrolled into energy conservation programs, such as weatherization.

Community action agency addresses and phone numbers

Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico, Inc.
Address - 3880 Foothills Road, Suite A
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88011
They offer referrals only to some or all of these assistance programs. Dial (575) 527-8799
Counties - Dona Ana, Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Sierra

Eastern Plains Community Action Agency
Mailing address - P.O. Box 1244
Tucumcari, NM 88401
Call the non-profit at (505) 461-1914
Provides low income programs in Curry, DeBaca, Guadalupe, Harding, Quay, Roosevelt, and Union County. CSBG grants can be used for paying utility bills or housing costs, including security deposits. There is also weatherization, Head Start, and other support. More Eastern Plains Community Action Agency.

Economic Council Helping Others, Inc. (ECHO) of San Juan
1921 E. Murray Drive
Farmington, NM 87401
Dial (505) 325-7466 for information and intake

Help-New Mexico, Inc.
Location is 5101 Copper Avenue, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87108
Dial (505) 766-4918
Administers many low income assistance programs for the region. Clients can sign up for government aid such as LIHEAP or weatherization. Other emergency aid offered can help with rent, or provide food to children. Covers the regions of Bernalillo, Mora, Rio Arriba, San Miguel, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Taos, Torrance, Los Alamos, and Colfax. Read more on HELP financial assistance programs.





Mid-West New Mexico Community Action Program
Main address is 549 Don Pasqual Rd. NW
Los Lunas, NM 87031-8491
(505) 866-0466
Counties supported are Catron, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro and Valencia

Southeast New Mexico Community Action Corporation
Main location is 1915 San Jose Bpulevard
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
(575) 887-3939
If you live in Chaves, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, or Otero, call this non-profit agency.

By Jon McNamara

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