New Mexico Keeping Families Together
In 2013, New Mexico Appleseed convened a group of public and private organizations to address issues related to family homelessness and child welfare involvement in New Mexico. Research led them to CSH’s Keeping Families Together (KFT) supportive housing model for families involved with the child welfare system. Following a planning process, implementation of a New Mexico KFT pilot began in 2015 for Bernalillo, Valencia, and Dona Ana counties through a multi-agency collaborative partnership that included the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department. Resources for the pilot included critical state funding. New Mexico KFT pilot followed a Housing First model with trauma-informed supportive services delivered through a harm reduction lens. The initial pilot project was completed in June 2018. With both successes and learning from the initial pilot, the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department adjusted the program and partnerships, funding the next phase of New Mexico KFT in late 2018.
During the initial 3-year pilot, New Mexico KFT stably housed 86 families representing 267 children. The collaborative approach allowed multiple agencies and systems to combine or leverage resources to stabilize and strengthen families. While the pilot period was relatively short, providers the role of KFT in reducing child maltreatment rates and helping many families to end their experiences of homelessness and housing instability.