ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – When a parent unexpectedly loses their job, their families can be forced to sleep in the streets, finding shelter in cars or behind dumpsters, but a program in Albuquerque is working to change that for families facing hardships.
At night, an empty Albuquerque church becomes a home and a Sunday school classroom turns into a bedroom for Anthony Ortiz, his wife and three kids.
Just a couple days earlier, Ortiz didn’t know where his family would go. He lost his job and would soon be struggling to pay rent.
“I never thought I would be in this situation,” said Ortiz.
Scott Roberts, a self-employed painter, unexpectedly found himself in a bind as well.
His baby was sick and needed treatment in Albuquerque that she couldn’t get back home in Clovis.
Shelters weren’t an option for the families. “Most places wanted to separate us,” said Ortiz.
Julie Skelton from the non-profit says their program is unique to Albuquerque.
“We are the only place in Albuquerque where two parent families can come and stay together,” said Skelton.
Family promise is an intense 90-day program that takes in four families at a time who have passed drug and background checks.
12 different churches across the city take in families for a week.
The volunteers provide food and help kids with homework, while the parents come to the center every day to look for housing and jobs.
“In the past three days I’ve put in 30 applications,” said Ortiz.
Roberts has an apartment and a job now.
For the Ortiz family, Anthony makes sure to “reiterate to [his] kids that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.”
Family Promise has a 70 percent success rate with families finding homes and jobs within the 90 days of the program.
For a look at their upcoming Christmas home tour fundraiser next weekend, go here»