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When R first came to ABQ Faithworks in August 2021 seeking assistance as an asylum seeker, they had no idea of what the future held and that less than a year later, they would be sitting on the organization's Board of Directors.

When dangers in their home country caused R to seek safe harbor in the United States through asylum, ABQ Faithworks was there to help R and their family transition to new life here in Albuquerque. Reestablishing one's life in another country is a huge challenge, and being an asylum seeker made it all the more complex.

With a spouse, a young child, and one on the way at the time, R found the services of ABQ Faithworks to be a godsend in their time of need. In start contrast to incorrect stereotypes about immigrants seeking asylum, R is highly educated with an MBA and has a strong history of service to their home country in a leadership position before having to flee to the United States for their safety.

"In the beginning we were lost, in limbo. We did not know what to do or how to make a plan," R recalls about the days immediately after relocating to Albuquerque. Understanding the immense and overwhelming challenges facing asylum seekers in our city, ABQ FaithWorks assigned R a Family Liaison named Deborah. She worked closely with R's family to address its specific needs and help them establish themselves within the community. Deborah ensured the family had access to food, provided R with guidance on pressing issues, and informed R of resources that could further help meet the family's needs.

The relationship that formed between R and ABQ FaithWorks has been extraordinary. Together, they celebrated the birth of R's new baby, and they celebrated again when R was granted employment authorization and found full time employment. As the family became more securely established in Albuquerque, R was quick to look for ways to use their skills, education and experience to assist ABQ FaithWorks. R now sits on the Board of Directors and serves as a Family Liaison for other asylum-seekers.

"The best way to show my gratitude to ABQ FaithWorks for all it has done for us is to give back, " R states, adding, "I have been through the process, so it is easy for me to relate. I am happy to help asylum seekers advocate for themselves. I find purpose in life through serving others." R reports they are thrilled to help support ABQ FaithWorks clients through tough issues like the difficulty of finding housing, vulnerability due to immigration status, and other issues inherent to asylum seekers.

This is just one of many success stories that ABQ FaithWorks has amassed. It is proud to now have R on its leadership team, offering their informed perspective in assisting asylum seekers in the Albuquerque area.

Support ABQ FaithWorks and live your values! Click here to make a monetary donation online now, and touch lives right here in our city. Volunteer opportunities are also available.

Wherever You Live in Albuquerque, You Can Too!

ABQ FaithWorks is now so widely recognized in Albuquerque for our amazing Housing and Homelessness Program that the Mayor put $20,000 for ABQ FaithWorks in the proposed budget sent to the City Council for fiscal year 2023! But it’s not a slam-dunk that the budget will be passed as proposed.

Here’s how you can help NOW! During April and May when the Council is debating the budget for fiscal year 2023 starting July 1:

1. Go to this page and find your City Councilor: He or she WANTS to hear from you! Knowing how the faith community feels about issues is important for elected officials, especially those who want to get re-elected. Clicking on their page gives you many ways to contact them – find a way that works for you!

2. Tell them why they should listen to you:

a. You are not only one of their constituents, but

b. You are part of and support ABQ FaithWorks, a collaborative of many faith communities (lots of good citizens) of different denominations working together to support marginalized populations – including the unhoused.

3. Tell them why ABQ FaithWorks is worth City support:

a. We work hard to leverage shared resources, setting the standard for a collaborative community response to marginalized and at-risk populations in our community.

b. We handle referrals from United Way’s 211 service and the Albuquerque Public Schools

c. We collaborate with UNM Hospital to assist people find Pathways to self-sufficiency

d. We support our member congregations with the unhoused who come to their doors

e. We assist migrants resident in Albuquerque to navigate our community, stay housed and fed, get to appointments with ICE, doctors, immigration attorneys

f. We collaborate with other NGOs like Lutheran Family Services, Catholic Charities, and many agencies for supporting resident migrants and the unhoused.

4. Tell them to support the budgeted allocation of $20,000 to ABQ FaithWorks!

Any Questions? Call the FaithWorks Office at 505 457 1728 for answers, and then call your Councilor!

Support ABQ FaithWorks and live your values! Click here to make a monetary donation online now, and touch lives right here in our city. Volunteer opportunities are also available.

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