The Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) is partnering with a local resource center Albuquerque Heading Home to give homeless students the support they need.
“This is going to be big,” said Gabe Gallegos, director of communications for ASUNM. “This is going to be big for the community and this is going to be big for the way people see homelessness in our community.”
ASUNM is holding a roundtable event on Tuesday, Mar 21., during which students, staff, faculty and members of the community can come together to learn more about local homelessness and discuss possible solutions. It will be in the Cherry Silver room of the SUB starting at 2:30 p.m.
“This campaign aims for real solutions and actions,” said Dennis Plummer, CEO and executive director of Heading Home. “Heading Home looks forward to working with UNM on this important and often hidden issue.”
The basic principal behind the Two Sides to Every Story campaign is there are two sides to homelessness. One side is the what the public sees, and the other side is the private struggle brought on by circumstances of homelessness. The partnership included unveiling two posters in the SUB, which guide students on how to assess both sides.
“Homelessness in general is hard to identify, even more so among college students,” said Plummer. “Two Sides to Every Story will help to ignite dialogue with UNM towards addressing college homelessness.”
Heading Home is a non-profit organization based right here in New Mexico. It takes a holistic approach at ending homelessness by providing housing as well as resources – giving people the education and financial training they need to succeed. Recently, a report from the UNM Institute for Social Research (ISR) took a comprehensive look at the economic impact of homelessness. Researchers found it actually costs less to house chronically homeless people in programs like Heading Home, than to leave them on the streets. By bringing the Heading Home message to the UNM campus, ASUNM hopes to open a conversation among students, staff and faculty.
“This project should be the beginning of identifying the problem,” Gallegos said. “And be able to understand the problem a little more."