News and Events

"Using five-year estimates from the Census’ 2019 American Community Survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified the U.S. ZIP codes with the highest poverty rates," reports Samuel Stebbins. Four of the top 50 are located in New Mexico.

#45: Cuba, 87103 50.0% poverty rate

#41: Alamo, 87825 51.4% poverty rate

#33: Mentmore, 87319 52.3% poverty rate

#27: Thoreau, 87323 52.8% poverty rate

"Poverty...(a)long with unemployment and lack of affordable housing, of the most crucial reasons for homelessness," according to CAUF Society. One any given night, 1,567 people are experiencing homelessness in Albuquerque (NMCEH Point-In-Time Count, 2021). ABQ FaithWorks's Housing and Homelessness program works through a

12-congregation network to alleviate immediate needs and to partner with community service providers to connect people in need meaningfully to available services. The goal is housing and integration into healthy community.

In addition to food, clothing, hygienic supplies and bus passes, ABQ FaithWorks uses the Pathways Navigators program and a "hot" referral system to assist people in their journeys towards achieving their personal goals. The collaborative participates in and supports strategies to raise incomes of those with low income and to reduce low-income impact on critical living issues of housing, healthcare and other related life essentials. These are two strategies amidst a complex systemic response, as identified by The Brookings Institution.

Please consider joining ABQ FaithWorks as a volunteer, or with a donation that makes this important work possible. Call 505-457-1728 for more information.

Marilyn Stoops

Long-time Albuquerque human rights activist Marilyn Stoops was recognized by Church Women United (CWU) for her contributions to the community. The honor was given at the national organization's Human Rights Day Celebration. CWU is a racially, culturally, theologically and inclusive Christian women’s movement which celebrates unity and diversity and works for peace in the world. Ms. Stoops has been an active member member of CWU since 1963.

Marilyn Stoops is currently secretary for ABQ FaithWorks Board of Directors and is one of its founding members. She has served on several area boards, committees and working task groups to ensure that all people receive the help and support that they need. People experiencing mental health challenges or homelessness, or are otherwise disenfranchised, are especially close to her heart.

Ms. Stoops received her Bachelor's Degree from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, and a Master's Degree in public administration from New Mexico State University. After a professional career in both the faith community and in medical offices, Ms. Stoops began to focus on "what I really wanted to do"...extensive and impactful volunteer work to improve the communities in which she has lived.

Her active involvement included volunteer work at the Penitentiary of New Mexico three years before the infamous riots. There Ms. Stoops offered a listening ear to inmates as part of their restorative journey. "I learned that many were victims long before they were perpetrators," she said, a comment that is reflective of her compassionate understanding.

Other community work has included 20 years with Albuquerque Interfaith, helping to form the New Mexico chapter of National Organization for Women (NOW), founding board member of New Mexico Community Foundation, serving with Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, and advocating for transitional living options in Belen, New Mexico, for people with mental disabilities.

Ms. Stoops lives in Nob Hill, Albuquerque, with her husband, Richard. Together they have a blended family of 7 children, 13 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren (with two more on the way).

ABQ FaithWorks is honored to have such an inspirational and talented community organizer helping us work with asylum seekers and people experiencing homelessness as we strive to achieve our vision that all people are safely housed and integrated into healthy communities. Congratulations to Marilyn Stoops for such a well-deserved honor.

September, 2021. Families are referred to ABQ FaithWorks Asylum Seeker program from many sources, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Albuquerque Public Schools when a family asks for more help as they are navigating check-ins and school. We work with families to help them maintain their legal status, stay housed, feed and clothe their families, and get legal work. Our families no longer need us when they meet several criteria. First of all, they must be secure in their housing, that is, their income is sufficient to ensure rent can be paid. Secondly, they have some reliable transportation or a personal vehicle. Thirdly, their employment is legal. And finally, they have not been food-insecure for at least two months. Although we are available again if circumstances change, we are proud to have three families this month who no longer need our services! They are taking a big step on their journeys to self sufficiency in our community.