ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new class is helping Albuquerque’s homeless get a better understanding on some basic skills many people take for granted; money management. This class is also responsible for keeping the homeless off the streets.
If you spend a few moments with Alys Minchow, you’ll notice she giggles — a lot. However, there was a time in her life when it wasn’t filled with laughter.
“I was in a 30 year relationship and we got into drinking and past drug use,” she said.
It was a relationship that left her homeless for two years.
“The only thing you worry about is, are you going to sleep safe that night, are you going to eat?” she said.
Tired of the life she was living, she signed up for the financial literacy class provided by the Southwest Neighborhood Association to help get her life on track and be around the right people.
“Unlike in other where there’s a lot extended family support, there really isn’t here. So it’s real important to create these communities for residents to connect with each other and look out for each other,” said John Bloomfield of NewLife Homes.
The community vibe within the classes helped Minchow stay accountable.
“I’ve learned a lot, and with that I learned I can clear some of my credit history up, do what kind of taxes I can do,” she said.
On average, students like her receive only $733/month in income through social security or disability. Bloomfield said even with those limited means, students in the program are able to make those dollars go far.
“Once we created these supportive communities, what’s incredible to see is how residents’ lives are turned around,” he said.
Minchow has now been sober for 10 years and thanks the classes for her ability to keep a handle on her priorities.
“Bills come first. First thing and I don’t like to wait, I go get my check, pay the bills right away.”