Meeting the Need.
The Albuquerque Metropolitan Area contains a population of over 900,000 people, making up nearly half of the population of the state of New Mexico. This includes communities such as Rio Rancho/Bernalillo, Moriarty/Edgewood, and Belen/Los Lunas. The population of the metropolitan area is 41% Hispanic, 5.5% Native American, and 2.5% African American. The median household income of the Albuquerque area of approximately $37,000. 27% of children in Albuquerque live below the poverty level.
The areas of Albuquerque where we have positioned ourselves are some of the most disadvantaged areas in the entire metro area. Our primary location, which we call ABQ Central, is located within the "International District" of Albuquerque. In the area surrounding this location, 42% of residents live below the poverty level and the median household income is $15,506.
We meet the needs of the population in many ways, including:
*Meal & Food Distribution
*Affordable Clothing and Household Items
*Infant Food and Supplies
*Care for the Homeless
*Community Thanksgiving Dinners
*Christmas Gift Give-Away
However, we have continuously sensed the need for more than just help with real and felt needs. In order to escape the continuous cycle of poverty, training must be provided.
Turning the Corner
Stephen Covey noted in his classic book, 7 Habits of highly effective people, that the most effective and productive people in this world move from a place of dependence on others to a place of independence and then further, to a place of interdependence (life in community). Most people first encounter one of Mission ABQ’s programs when they are in a place of need in their life. Unfortunately, many government programs, social service organizations, and even Christian ministries are measured by their output (how much food they give out each year, how man pounds of clothes distributed, etc.) rather than their outcomes. In fact, funding is often tied to the clear need for such output. This means that there is very little incentive for the program to provide actual life-changing outcomes in people’s lives. Our desire is to see the lives of the people we serve so changed that they begin to serve others and give back rather than to continue to need to be served. Therefore, in Covey’s words, someone can be described as turning the corner when they move from dependence to independence and then to interdependence. Independence would mean they no longer depend on others, but they would not yet be contributing productively to the community and giving back to others. In order to do this, we have educational programs, including for independence:
*Financial Literacy Training
*Life Skills Training
And for interdependence:
*Community and Community Investment Courses
*DCPI, NBC Alliance, and CLT Courses
Mission ABQ is a non-profit organization, established in 1999 to bring hope to a community in need, helping people turn the corner from a place of need to a place of service to others. We do this by:
1) Meeting people at their point of need (meeting real and felt needs)
2) Providing education and training in areas of need to bring individuals to a place of health and wholeness, and
3) Empowering people to care for and meet the needs of others.