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THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY OUTREACH NEWSLETTER

The South Valley MainStreet is the lead Our Humanity partner, led by Executive Director Bianca Encinas. South Valley MainStreet brings together community members, local business owners, local commercial property owners, farmers, and local and state government to work collaboratively to reinvest in the South Valley through community-led and based economic and community redevelopment. 

South Valley MainStreet is also leading other projects in our community such as:

La Familia Growers Market 

Held at Dolores Huerta Gateway Park, the market is open for business every Friday throughout the summer from 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Established in 2017 by the community, this market brings together the community to support local South Valley farmers and artisans. Live music from local bands and tasty offerings from food trucks add to the festive and friendly vibe.

5th Annual Back 2 School Backpack Giveaway

This event provided an opportunity for community members to receive free backpacks and school supplies for their children. During 2022 they held their fifth annual La Familia Growers Market Back 2 School Backpack Giveaway, donating 500 backpacks (400 of which were donated by Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada for the 5th year) filled with school supplies. This event received over 1000 visitors who were able to access community resources, get their COVID-19 and flu shots, in addition to enjoying interactive activities and performances.

Dolores Huerta Park Design Improvements 

In 2017, South Valley farmers from the La Familia Growers Market initiated a community-led process to modify the Dolores Huerta Gateway Park through design modifications. Construction is projected to start in the fall of 2023. The South Valley MainStreet secured $1.2 million in funding to accomplish this goal in partnership with the New Mexico MainStreet, New Mexico Legislative Representatives, and Bernalillo County Commissioners. 

South Valley Memories: Oral History Project

During the autumn of 2022, SVMS celebrated the installation of the first five historic markers at Dolores Huerta Park! This was an opportunity to honor some of the co-founders of the La Familia Growers Market: Procopio and Aurora Sandoval, and committed vendors and community members who have passed; Johnny Mackeyfill and Craig Rich. Thank you to the following funders: AARP, The Albuquerque Community Foundation, New Mexico MainStreet, and Bernalillo County! And thank you to the community members who participated in the first phase of the South Valley Memories: Oral History Project.

Bridge Blvd Construction Phase 2

As a part of the redevelopment of Bridge and Isleta, South Valley MainStreet has been working with business owners and property owners in Phase 2 of the Bridge Blvd Redevelopment, which is from the river to Young Ave, to develop design solutions and present them to Bernalillo County. 

South Valley MainStreet is dedicated to assisting senior citizens with minor exterior home repairs, weatherization & energy efficiency of homes through an initiative called Aging in Place. From 2021 to 2022, SVMS partnered with Habitat for Humanity to conduct an Aging in Place Pilot Project providing exterior minor home repairs. The pilot project completed 10 Aging in Place rehabilitations in the South Valley. By rehabilitating homes, we are able to help senior citizens to age safely in their homes while helping their future generations to maintain the land and pass it on to future generations, land tenure passing land down from generation to generation. The SVMS will be accepting applications again in April 2023 on a limited basis and in the future more to be announced. If you are interested in participating please send an email to southvalleymainstreet@gmail.com. 

Papel Picado Bus Shelters: Bridge Blvd Redevelopment 

In an effort to provide shelter from the sun and rain for bus riders and to encourage public transportation, the SVMS conducted a community process on bus shelters completing over 130 surveys. The SVMS secured over $300,000.00 for bus shelters on Bridge Blvd. The first set of bus shelters have been installed. Thank you to Senator Linda Lopez!

Asset Building: Investing in Local Families and Community Members 

In 2022, the South Valley MainStreet completed over $50,000 in facade and building rehabilitation with the support of the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Since 2015, the South Valley MainStreet has completed over $75,000.00 in facade and building rehabilitation. Thank you to the New Mexico Resiliency Alliance and the New Mexico MainStreet for providing funding and technical assistance!

SVMS Executive Director

As a first generation Chicana born and raised in Albuquerque, with maternal and paternal ancestors from a small rural village in Northeastern New Mexico who were farmers and ranchers, raised in the South Valley, it has been an honor to work with and learn so much from community members! ¡Si se puede!

Spring is here and it's finally warming up, and during March, we hosted another two Community Engagement Circles in Albuquerque.

Our Humanity CEC’s (Community Engagement Circles) create opportunities for community leaders and community members to meet with physicians and public health experts for the purpose of learning more about COVID-19 and how it is currently affecting the communities they live in and serve.  These conversation spaces are provided so that individuals can ask questions about vaccines, resources, current information, or to address any general concerns related to COVID-19 in a judgment free environment.

The first CEC of March was held at East San Jose Elementary School. We had a vibrant and participative event with students, teachers, and parents. Dr. Miranda Dunham, a Medical Doctor from the New Mexico Department of Health, gave a fantastic presentation with information about what the end of the government emergency status means for New Mexico families.

Those in attendance asked questions about the latest number of hospitalizations as compared to flu, insurance coverage moving forward, and also about current medical treatment options. We were very grateful to Melanie Maestas and East San Jose Elementary School for hosting this event.
Our second March CEC, held completely in Spanish, was with a group of Spanish-speaking faith leaders from around Bernalillo County. The event was held at Altar Church on Albuquerque’s West Side.

During our time together, we had some fantastic discussions with these leaders who were working actively to protect their constituents and our city during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Miranda Durham from NMDOH, joined us again, and provided a very focused presentation on resources and information for leaders striving to help parishioners and community members access help from the effects the pandemic caused. During the meeting, health literacy documents, a community resources list, and COVID-19 test kits were distributed as well.

This Community Engagement Circle, aside from being informative and educational, was a fantastic way to engage in a healthy and respectful conversation around building a future of trust and collaboration between the faith-based community, the Our Humanity Initiatives, and the New Mexico Department of Health. We are thankful to Pastor Neri Virrareal and his team for opening the doors of Altar Church for this important public health discussion.
Happy Women’s History Month! Women’s History Month began in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week.” Women’s History Month celebrates the contributions women have made to the United States and recognizes the specific achievements women have made over the course of US history.

In honor of the month, we want to take this opportunity to celebrate and thank the women in our very own community who have dedicated themselves to preserving and enriching the cultura in New Mexico.

https://womenshistorymonth.gov/about

How may the end of the COVID-19 emergency affect you?

The federal government has announced that it will end the Public Health emergency on May 11, 2023.  This is good news!  However, there are some programs and protections that will come to an end, affecting thousands of people… and maybe you too.

How will the end of the COVID-19 emergency affect the tracking of COVID-19 spread and infections? The end of the COVID-19 emergency will affect the frequency of that data and may slow the flow of that information. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require that reports about COVID-19 still be uploaded through to at least 2024. If you want to help, you can share your results if they come back positive. 

Millions of people will lose Medicaid coverage
According to KFF estimates, based on illustrative scenarios—a 5% decline in total enrollment and a 13% decline in enrollment—between 5.3 million and 14.2 million people will lose Medicaid coverage during the 12-month unwinding period.

If you and your family are at risk, don't forget to renew it!

Have you ever been ready to sign your kids up for a summer camp program and discovered it’s full, or you can’t find the right one for your family? If you are looking for a place to register your kids early for summer and be ready, we are here to help! Filmmaking, art, dance, sports, and science are some of the many fun activities to do this summer! Some camps are available at local community centers and some programs may charge to enroll your child. The links below provide phone numbers, emails, and names of people that you can contact for more information. We hope this helps as you prepare for some summer fun!

Don’t be afraid to advocate for your family! When calling for info on summer camps, remember to ask if there are any special discounts. There may be a discount for enrolling more than one child or enrolling your child in multiple programs. Here is a link for tips on affording more programs: 

https://www.consumerreports.org/saving-money/ways-to-save-money-on-summer-camp-expenses/

Summer camp info:

https://albuquerquesummercamps.com

https://albuquerque.momcollective.com/around_abq/summer-camps/

https://www.bernco.gov/community-services/community-centers/raymond-g-sanchez/raymond-g-sanchez-programs/

Looking for low-cost or free options? Check the City of Albuquerque’s summer programs including community centers and nutrition programs: https://www.cabq.gov/summer

For more information or questions, visit our website: ourhumanitybernalillo.org
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