photo Todd Clarke
New Homeless Shelter in Taos Offers Variety of Resources
As the homeless crisis continues in New Mexico, small towns like Taos are starting to feel the effects as well. For over a year, several local organizations have been working on this new project called NEST (Navigating Emergency Support Together).
Through a lot of hard work an old senior center is now a new homeless shelter in Taos. “First for Taos to have something of this scale operating, once we’re there we’ll be able to have up to 40 people stay at any given night,” said Catherine Hummel, DreamTeam Executive Director.
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Officials estimate that about 100 people in Taos are homeless, and with COVID funds that had been used for emergency shelter running out, a team of agencies realized they needed a quick solution. This new space offers something for those 18 years and older, families in need as well as the LGBTQ+ community in need of protection from the cold winter weather.
“Over to this direction will be our gender expansive dorm with attached bathroom and behind me with be the women’s dorm with their own attached bathroom so everyone has their own safe space but it’s one facility co-located,” said Hummel.
Currently only part of the facility that’s open is for an overnight stay. Once renovations are complete, different forms of help such as housing and legal services will become available. The goal is to provide as many resources to help those in need get back on their feet.
Even in a limited capacity, agency workers said they’re already seeing the facility make an impact on the community. Over the summer NEST was able to sign a 25 year lease with Taos County, the owners of the building.