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As Albuquerque Reopens, Mayor Keller Announces New Financial Assistance Programs for Businesses and Residents

Financial Navigators Program provides free multi-lingual guidance for families, new round of LEDA grants open today.

May 11, 2021

In a press briefing today, Mayor Tim Keller and Co-Director of the New Mexico Dream Team Eduardo Esquivel-Gonzalez provided an update from the City’s mobile vaccination unit on vaccination rates and continuing financial resources available to residents and businesses.

Mayor Keller also announced the return of direct flight options from Southwest Airlines to six American cities, a sign of the increasing demand that the Sunport is seeing. For more detail on these new flight options, see the attached ABQ Sunport press release.

“The steady reopening of our city is a big deal for Albuquerque businesses and workers, but we know that after a year of hardship, a family’s economic situation doesn’t turn around overnight,” said Mayor Keller. “A lot has changed in the past weeks, but our commitment to helping businesses and working families get back on their feet has not.”

To help guide residents through the assistance available to them, the Financial Navigators Program was created earlier this year as a partnership between the City of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Dream Team, Cities for Financial Empowerment, and New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. The Financial Navigators Program is a free, confidential service that helps residents triage financial issues, identify immediate action steps, and connect them to services.

“If you, a family member, a friend or a neighbor has had any financial hardship this year, you don’t have to figure it out alone. We have financial navigators providing a free service to any person in the city,” said Eduardo Esquivel-Gonzales, co-director of the New Mexico Dream Team. To access these resources, visit cabq.gov/finnav or call (505) 768-4242.

The program is offered in over 300 languages and helps residents with utility payment assistance, eviction prevention, meal services, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), rental and mortgage assistance, unemployment insurance, Medicaid or ACA health insurance, childcare, and childcare assistance payments.

Mayor Keller also encouraged local business owners to look at the state’s new LEDA recovery fund. Applications for these grants opened today and can be used for rent, lease, and mortgage payments to eligible businesses.

Vaccination rates in the Albuquerque metro area continue to increase. Last week’s Department of Health Data shows that 46.6% of eligible BernCo residents are fully vaccinated and 63.2% had received at least one shot. An unofficial count taken yesterday from the City’s Emergency Operation Center shows that just about 51% of residents in the Metro area are fully vaccinated.

Today’s media briefing took place outside of John Marshall Health Center, where the City’s mobile vaccination unit is located this week. The mobile vaccination unit is a walk-up site created in partnership with FEMA. Vaccines are free and no insurance or appointment is necessary to receive a shot at the mobile site. Over 4 weeks of operation, the unit has provided 3,544 vaccines. Across all the 78 City-supported Points of Distribution, 32,043 doses have been provided to-date. The mobile unit will operate from noon-7pm Monday through Fridays and 9am-2pm on Saturdays. The unit will be located at the John Marshall Center this week, at the South Valley’s Westside Community Center next week, and at Cesar Chavez Community Center in the International District the week of May 24th.