Bernalillo County public assistance programs.

Several public assistance programs are offered by the Bernalillo County Community Service Division. A focus is on assisting those residents who have explored all other non-profits and financial support programs in the region and are out of options. The government assistance is available as a last resort for a defined period of time. Some of what may be available includes public housing, economic health, food, and they serve as an application site for a number of New Mexico and federal government programs.

One of the key programs for children, teenagers, and students is the Summer Lunch Program. This feeds thousands of children and students from both urban and rural Bernalillo County New Mexico. When school is not in session many families lose access to free lunches or breakfasts that are provided by your local school. So this is when the government can help in the form of Summer Lunch Program. This can have a major impact on addressing hunger and nutrition and in general improving the quality of life in the region.

The Bernalillo County Parks and Recreation department actually oversees this program. They will provide free, healthy nutritious meals and snacks during the summer months. A number of locations in the county take part in the program and will serve the lunches to those who qualify. Free food is offered for children and teens 1 through 18 years of age. No registration or fees are required in order to receive a meal from this public program.

Rental assistance programs are mainly offered from the federal government sponsored Section 8 Housing program. The Community Service Division can provide the public with the Housing Guidelines, Rules, Instruction and Regulations. This program will provide very low income clients with subsidies and vouchers that can be used to help pay their rent. Clients can select their own apartments and homes to live in provided they meet program guidelines. Section 8 HUD vouchers are offered by the federal government.

The El Centro Familiar Senior Housing Complex can provide housing for the elderly and senior citizens. Receive safe, clean, and affordable apartments and homes to live in. A similar resource is the Seybold Village Disabled Housing Complex, which is for the disabled in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.





Another government food assistance program is Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This will assist many low-income and poor households and help them buy the food and groceries they need to stay healthy, productive members of society. SNAP Benefits and the public funded vouchers are simple to use when you purchase food products at your local retailer or grocery store.

While the federal government sets the guidelines for the SNAP program, they work closely with the state of New Mexico. Call the social service office in order to get information on the amount of SNAP vouchers that you can receive each month. The Bernalillo County Human Services Department will help you apply and will also assist with determining whether or not you qualify for SNAP. Your assets and income levels will be reviewed.

Temporary Cash Assistance may be the main public benefit program. It provides the very low income with a monthly cash benefit to be used to pay for basic family needs such as utility bills, housing, rent, utilities, and even goods such as clothing costs. The grants provided can be used for a number of basic needs and the client will be required to be working or seeking employment.

New Mexico General Assistance is similar it that it provides financial assistance and cash grants to Albuquerque families, in particular those with children and disabled adults. It will pay out cash assistance to those who are not eligible for assistance under a federal government matched cash assistance program, such as supplemental security income (SSI) or New Mexico Works (NMW). Find more details on New Mexico cash assistance programs.




Other resources include medical assistance from New Mexico Medicaid program. It can pay for certain health care expenses.

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that pays for health care to New Mexicans who are eligible for the benefits. Or contact Bernalillo County Community Service Division in order to apply for utility bill help from LIHEAP. Call (800) 283-4465 for details on these and other government resources.


By Jon McNamara

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