Governor Bill Richardson today announced that $250,000 in federal stimulus funds
will be released to support the Child Crisis Center of Southern New Mexico, which is working to establish a residential shelter and related services.
The discretionary money from the Government Services Fund will allow the state Children, Youth and Families Department to invest in high-quality care for young children and their families, including services aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect during stressful times for families. The funds are targeted for Doña Ana County, which has experienced some deadly child abuse cases.
"This award will help prevent child abuse by providing services and supports for struggling families," Governor Richardson said. "These funds will be used to protect at-risk children, while addressing the underlying causes of child abuse before it's too late."
The $250,000 award will help provide crisis shelter services for children birth through 5-yearsold. Secondly, the award will support counseling and other social services necessary for children and families experiencing crises, such as homelessness, job loss or ongoing domestic abuse.
"I applaud the Governor for his commitment to protecting the most vulnerable New Mexicans," said state Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, an advocate for children and family issues. "I am hopeful this award will help prevent child abuse and assist families facing stressful situations."
The state Children, Youth and Families Department will manage the award.
"Southern New Mexico has experienced tragic and deadly child abuse cases in recent years -- including several in the last few months," said Secretary Bill Dunbar of the Children, Youth and Families Department. "We're committed to creating a safe place for kids in crisis, and continuing our investment in young children and New Mexico families."
Today's announcement is in addition to $1 million announced last month for early childhood programs. That separate award will allow the Children, Youth and Families Department to support high-quality childcare for homeless children and home visits for at-risk families with infants across New Mexico.
St. Joseph Community Health has agreed to add to the $1 million early childhood award with $234,168 in private funds to several nonprofit agencies in New Mexico.