Welcome to the CARE 66 blog. We are a small non profit whose mission is to create opportunities to end homelessness. We do this by providing support services and a variety of housing opportunities to our clients ranging from transitional housing to permanent housing with support services.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column December 2010

December 2010. This year has been an eventful year for CARE 66. I want to thank some of the people who have made CARE 66 what it is. I had the opportunity to meet our former Chief Operating Officer Tim Kelley at the Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service at First United Methodist Church. It was good to see him in good health.
Carl Smith has been Chief Operating Officer for about six months now. He has implemented a whole series of changes like regular staff training, implementing Evidence Based Practices, and ensuring that we are able to deliver the services our clients need. Carl oversees all of the service delivery staff at CARE 66. Rhonda Berg has been serving as our Director of Housing Development. She makes sure that we are in compliance with grant regulations while working with architects and contractors to ensure that our projects are making progress. They both provide wisdom and insight from years of experience that guides our decision making. I am truly grateful for their hard work to ensure that we fulfill our mission. Please thank them if you meet them. I also want to thank all CARE 66 staff and Board members, past and present, for your hard work that has contributed to the success of our client s.
I would also like to thank our Board who has worked quietly in the background to steer our path. As usual we are also looking for Board members, so if you would like to help us, please send me an email or give me a call.
We have learned that high quality early childhood interventions that include developmental components are good to get people out of poverty. We hope to include an Early Childhood Development Center in the Chuska 2 project in the downtown area.
Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.
Until next month stay well and do good!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Thanks and gratitude expand my heart.

We would not be here today were it not for everyone coming together to make CARE 66 happen.

Contained in the list below are stories - of frustration, hopelessness, depression, anger, and also of success, hope, sanity, homes, jobs, and fullness.   You will find yourself in the lists below, not by name, but, by what you have done for people who are homeless with no one to help them.

I have not mentioned you by name only because there are so many of you.  Today we give you thanks for your generosity of spirit, wallet and time.

Many thanks, gratitude and blessings:
  • To the staff, past and present, of CARE 66 whose hard work, dedication and commitment have brought us this far. 
  • To the  past and present Board members who have worked tirelessly to give direction and build support for CARE 66.
  • To City Councils, past and present, and to Mayors, past and present, and to City staff for their help and assistance.
  • To County Commissioners, past and present, and to County staff, for the insight and assistance they have given us.
  • To the community that is Gallup - a wonderful town because of the wonderful people who live here, for nurturing and supporting CARE 66.
  • To our donors who give generously of their money and resources.
  • To our partners, collaborators, funders for making things happen.
  • To our clients for working so hard to get your life back together.
  • To Bethany Christian Reformed Church, the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, First United Methodist Church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, and Rehoboth Church for your support, volunteers, and donations.
  • To the volunteers who come in and make a feast for our clients every month.
  • To the volunteers who help with the odds and ends of work, cabinets, IT, painting, repairs etc.
  • To the Gallup Journey and the Gallup Independent for encouragement and forcing us to tell our stories.
  • To everybody who has not been thanked in the list above for everything you have done and will do for CARE 66.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column November 2010

November 2010. We are busy. Working on grants and complying with grant agreements. That is we are providing services and seeking to expand services and the affordable housing supply in Gallup.
Last month the architects for our downtown project gave us a model of the new apartments we are hoping to build in downtown Gallup. Come by and take a look.

In October we submitted a grant proposal to HUD Choice Neighborhoods for this project. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Mayor and City Council along Kevin and Pete for their help. Now we are working on another proposal to use Low Income Housing Tax Credits to develop this project. We are also working the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness on a grant that will help fund services for homeless people in Gallup. Hopefully we will have the problem of being awarded all the monies we request. This is not a common problem and is one that we have never had in the past but it never hurts to hope or ask.

Construction documents for the Lexington are being prepared and we are excited about renovations that will begin soon. Keep your eyes out for an announcement about an open house in the next month or two.

Its Thanksgiving this month so be sure to enjoy yourself with family and friends. Give a brief thought to those in homeless shelters or far from home.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column October 2010

October 2010. Last Month 14 riders raised over $2750 for CARE 66 by riding between 23 and 66 miles. It was a beautiful day and we rode in the beautiful county side around Gallup. Thank you very much to the following riders for doing this for us: Amber Abuch, Jessica Benally, Timothy Pikaart, Don Tamminga, Barbara Kamps, Victor Martinez, Kris Pikaart, Jaylyn Gough, Pete Kelly, Sanjay Choudhrie, Tom Gifford Dirk Hollebeek, and Bruce Schuurmann.
Naturally we couldn’t have done it without our Board members: Sr. Rose Marie Cecchini, Patrick Keptner and Jane Ann Polich. Our Chief Operating Officer, Carl Smith and his daughter Ashley, also drove a support vehicle and made sure that we have water and food. Our Board Chair, Pete Kelly, rode 40 plus miles… a first for him. Congratulations Pete and thank you to all who helped make this a success. Our corporate sponsor was the Coal Street Pub. Please say thank you for Ramon and eat a meal there.
Stay tuned for more events!

Last month I attended a Board retreat for the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. It was both energizing and tiring. The Coalition as it’s called, helped us complete Chuska Apartments and is working with us on the Lexington Hotel. They also provided a lot of guidance to CARE 66 when we first started up.

We have been deeply concerned about the fact the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority (which is the state housing agency) does not consider that there is a need for affordable housing in McKinley County because our population growth rate is lower than that of the state. We hope to work with them to identify indicators that provide a truer definition of housing need than population growth.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column September 2010

September 2010. Last month Senator Jeff Bingaman and Lt. Governor Diane Denish visited the Lexington Hotel. They looked at our plans for renovating the facility and asked good questions. It was a pleasure to see staff and people from the community at this event.

Last month we found out that we did not receive a grant for the renovation of the Lexington Hotel. We know that grants are not guaranteed. So now we are exploring a phased approach to renovating the Lexington in partnership with Tohatchi Area Opportunity and Service (TAOS). We will need to recruit volunteers to help with construction, painting and all the myriad of tasks that go with renovating a facility. We believe that construction documents will be completed by the end of the year. These documents will be enable us to determine what needs to be contracted and what can be done with volunteer labor. Look for news in next years editions of the Journey for volunteer opportunities.

On September 18 will be hosting a fun ride 66 mile bicycle ride. There will be shorter options too for those who cannot ride the entire 66 miles. Riders will pay a registration fee of $66. Those who collect pledges of more than $150 will get a beautiful coffee mug. Its easy to sign up. Ask your friends to support your ride by making a donation to CARE 66. All donations are tax deductible. More information can be found at http://www.care66.org/UpcomingEvents.asp.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column August 2010

August 2010. Last month we had a free concert at Chuska Apartments. Mary McBride performed for us and it was beautiful. It appeared that most of the people at the concert had not experienced one before and so they were shy and engaged at the same time.

We now have a leadership team in place. Carolyn Stansberry is our new Chief Financial Officer. She has been restructuring our financial management system. We are very grateful for the dedication and experience that she brings to the job. Rhonda Berg has been our Housing Development Director for a few months now. She is getting up to speed with all our grants and plans. Carl Smith, our Chief Operating Officer has been working very hard these few months. Please thank them for their work if you happen to meet them.

In July our Board met for a half day retreat and confirmed our commitment to rehabbing the Lexington and the Liberty Hotel and developing a housing development in downtown Gallup. All we have to do is find money to complete these projects.

We have the peculiar problem of being almost full to capacity. Our clients seem to be motivated to find work and put their lives together.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column July 2010

Its July already…. We have finished tying the odds and ends of the grant we were awarded through SAMHSA to provide services to people suffering from a dual diagnosis i.e. mental health and substance abuse issues. All that remains for us to do is begin the program and start drawing down some monies. This grant will pay for services for the next five years and we are very grateful to everybody who encourages us. One my first day on the job – way back in 2005 – Jim Harlin (the Executive Director of the Community Pantry) said, “Now you need to get a grant from SAMHSA”. It took us five years of applying every year get this grant award.

This month we will be having a ‘free’ concert – free as in bring your check book to put some money in the collection plate at Chuska Apartments on Saturday, July 17.

Also look for news for a bike ride fund raiser tentatively scheduled for September 18. It will be a 66 mile ‘metric’ century (it's only a few miles more than a true metric century). There will be shorter options too. Riders collect pledges and it helps us tremendously. I plan to ride the whole metric nine yards. Please let me know if you want to pledge to support this ride.

We are busy working on two or three grants for the next month or so. We hope these grants will give us the money needed to complete renovations on the Lexington and maybe even some money for the Liberty Hotel.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column June 2010

Its June…Remember last month I mentioned a surprise phone call from a funding agency. Well we visited Washington last month in connection with a grant to provide support services to formerly homeless clients. We are busy putting the program together and sorting out all the odds and ends.

We are growing and struggling to grow. Our biggest challenge is the availability of a regular source of funds. For CARE 66 we need 100 people to give us at least $100 per month. We have five people doing this right now. You can help us. And it doesn’t have to be $100 it can be $20. Regular income, is something we need. Its like an endowment that those big fancy schools have. $20 per month is equal to an endowment of at least $2000 and a $100 per month is equivalent to $10,000 of endowment, assuming that it earns an income of 5% which is a conservative assumption.

We are finalizing details with the architect for the Lexington. Our hope is to have construction documents completed by the end of July so that we can go out to bid and begin construction quickly. Meanwhile we have a bunch of money to raise.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column May 2010

It’s May already. Following the City Councils decision to invest in affordable housing CARE 66 has submitted several grant proposals to leverage these monies. One of our proposals is looking at future affordable housing projects through 2014. In a few months we hope to be able to report on how these proposals fared.

Good news comes with bad news. At least two private foundations have denied us grants and others have reduced their giving substantially. This makes our life more difficult. The economic realities of this recession continue to limit us by slowing down projects.

We are grateful to all of you who continue to support our work with your donations. No gift is too small. A few weeks ago I received a surprise phone call from a funding agency asking if we still wanted the grant that we had been denied. I will let you know how this turns out when, and if, we receive the paperwork.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column April 2010

Its April and I want to share some very good news with you. The Mayor and City Council of Gallup voted to invest in CARE 66’s housing projects. This is a welcome investment in the work of that we do. It will enable us to leverage funds, i.e. bring in more monies because of the investment by the City.

I want to thank Councilor Bryan Wall for his persistent support for our work. I am also very grateful to councilors Allan Landavazo, Mike Enfield and Jay Azua who unanimously voted to support our work. Mayor Mendoza is to be commended for his leadership and for making this investment possible.

I also want to thank the acting City Manager Dave Pederson, the Chief Financial Officer for the city Judy Starkovich and the Economic Development Director Pete Kelly. It is common to forget the work and efforts of the staff who have done a great job in finding the resources that City Council needed to invest. We are grateful to all who helped make this possible.

This is a big step forward for the city. I will be working very hard to ensure that we all profit from this partnership.
Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column March 2010

March 2010.

Liberty Hotel aka ‘Carl’s Radio and TV’: The first draft of construction drawings has been completed. We will need to make minor changes and add detail but we are well along the way. Funding applications should go in this month and I will let you know the good news when it comes.

Lexington Hotel: This month we will commission construction drawings and submit funding applications to complete renovations.

Chuska 3 (for want of an official name): Preliminary drawings have been completed. The building will have more than 40 units of low income housing and parking. This project is going to be wonderful addition to the downtown area and is very creative in its approach to solving housing issues like privacy, personal space and security. We hope to see renderings soon.

Meanwhile, we continue to work hard to provide transitional housing to homeless men and veterans. We passed both a Veterans Administration and a New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority inspection of our facility.

Foundations are suffering the loss of endowment income which has affect some of our grants. We hope that the economy picks soon.

Thank you again for your support in this endeavor of bringing prosperity to this area and making hope possible.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column February 2010

February 2010. We have almost completed applications requests to fund the rehabilitation of the Lexington Hotel and the Liberty Hotel. Hopefully these requests will be successful and we will be able to complete these projects this year.

We are also in the process of finalizing plans for a housing development on Coal and Puerco - we eager to see what our architects have come up with this. More on this next month.

We are at the beginning of another year. As usual we will be looking for opportunities to promote affordable housing in Gallup. The City of Gallup has received a proposal from CARE 66 to help with the costs of putting these projects together. We hope that they will give it the consideration it deserves and the support we need.

We are looking forward to a successful year but we are also aware that we still have to recover from the struggles for 2009. This is going to take hard work, discipline and vision and together we can make success happen.

We are very grateful to those of you who sent year end donations to us. Every little bit helps. It helps to make hope possible despite the many obstacles we face. Thank you.

Until next month stay well and do good!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Gallup Journey Column January 2010

It’s the beginning of a New Year. Welcome 2010! Hopefully the trials of 2009 are over and we can move forward with deliberate speed.

Here’s what we have on our plate for 2010.

1. Lexington Hotel – get the remaining funding to complete renovations this year. Schematic design has been completed, detail drawings are under way. When complete this facility will provide an innovative mix of affordable housing and transitional housing for low income individuals, along with the services they need.

2. Liberty Hotel formerly known as Carl’s Radio and TV. Again we hope to get the remaining funds we need to complete renovations. This facility will provide transitional housing for homeless veterans.

3. Chuska Three (for want of a better name) submit applications to fund different components of the project once we have a clearer sense of the feasibility of the project. By this I mean how many apartments, what kind of apartments, parking, how much rental office space, etc.

4. Improve our success rate from 40% to 50% for getting clients into permanent housing and jobs.

I am very grateful for the support you have given us this past year and hope that you will continue to support our work. Thank you. As usual every little bit helps. We are going to explore a few different ideas for fundraising events this year.

Until next month stay well and do good!