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Basic Needs

Strength Through Self-Sufficiency

The unique regional, social and economic factors in a community can have a detrimental impact on the family and an individual’s ability to fully participate as a productive member of society, whatever their age. In order to ensure that all residents can attain, maintain and sustain self-sufficiency, basic needs must first be addressed. Before people can benefit from skills training, participate fully as a parent, or engage in community opportunities, they have to have access to food, clothing, and shelter. TCF recognizes the enormous and unmet potential of these most vulnerable people. We must extend the reach of proven programs and invest in helping people become self-sufficient. In addition to many basic need grants we partner with numerous non-profit and faith-based community programs, to provide new clothing, socks and merchandise to children throughout the northern New Mexico region.

Basic Needs Impact Stories

Taos Feeds Taos 2014 Holiday Food Baskets - 1271 boxes of food were distributed to families throughout Taos County as part of the most recent holiday food cycle – 185 boxes in Questa, Amalia, Cerro and Costilla; 170 boxes in Penasco, Vadito, Chamisal and Picuris; 916 boxes in Taos, Taos Pueblo and surrounding area. Over 30 tons of food was distributed of which $68,933 was purchased at discounted prices.

Food Distribution Grants in 2014 - As part of a coordinated grant making effort with donor advised fundholders, TCF awarded end-of-the year core support grants to the following organizations to assist in holiday food distribution/emergency shelter efforts: Taos Feeds Taos, St. James Food Pantry, Taos Coalition to End Homelessness, Shared Table, Stray Hearts Animal Shelter, Penasco Food Pantry, and ALM Food Pantry.

Dream Tree Project – “The funds helped us with two innovative efforts. We are the first emergency youth shelter in Nm to implement the National Safe Place program. This is a proven outreach program, designed as a partnership with local businesses and public spaces. We have currently signed up local businesses and five volunteer drivers. We also started using the Juvenile Inventory for Functioning (JIFF) as a quick assessment tool to have youth identify their needs, and begin an action plan to address those needs. Our shelter occupancy increased by over 90% which means more of our community’s homeless youth are award of our services. An additional 65% of youth served moved into safe & stable housing environments when they left the Dream Tree Project”.

Taos Feral Feline Friends – “The funds were allocated between the organizations Shelter and Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) programs. The funding was essential to the operation of both these programs. With respect to the TNR program, the allocation was used to continue the LIFA (Low Income Food Assistance) program that provides free cat food for indigent and/or disabled feral cat caregivers in the Taos area. One of our LIFA recipients supports a homeless cat population at a trailer park in the community. Despite being indigent and disabled, the caregiver has supplied food and water to a population of homeless cats that originally exceeded 25 and was growing continuously. He assisted in trapping the cats and through the TNR program, the unchecked reproduction has ceased. The population has begun to dwindle. Despite living in a 6x18’ van without running water, the caregiver has 6 cats of his own adopted from the trailer park group. The cats are his only family. With his limited food and income assistance, he has often been unable to purchase sufficient food for himself, his six cats and the remaining trailer park population. Unwilling to let the animals he cares for starve; he has often used his own resources to support the cats. His case demonstrates that the cat food provided via LIFA is critical to both to human and animal welfare.”

In 2005, we established the KIDS Clothing Distribution Project, which has facilitated over $3 million in new children’s clothing and merchandise coming into community for children and families. TCF maintains partnership agreements with local non-profit and faith groups who assist with the unpacking, sorting and delivery of items. At times the deliveries can be overwhelming in volume – some shipments have been 13 pallets of boxed clothing! Other times, they provide just the right items at just the right time.