Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
If not for GiveABQ, Kathleen Padilla’s apartment wouldn’t feel like a home.
Formerly drug addicted and homeless, Padilla, 40, got clean, got a job and was able to pay her rent and related bills. Unfortunately, there was little remaining to furnish her apartment.
That is no longer a concern.
This week Padilla has been coming home to an apartment now made comfortable with a bed, chest of drawers, a side table, kitchen table with chairs an accent chair and other furnishings, all provided free by GiveABQ, a program of Adelante Development Center.
Adelante provides a variety of programs in support of people with mental and physical disabilities, and seniors and disadvantaged populations.
GiveABQ was founded in January 2018 after the Public Service Company of New Mexico, which was remodeling its Downtown building, contacted Adelante about donating furniture and furnishings, said Jill Beets, vice president of marketing and communications for Adelante.
“Most of the other nonprofits in Albuquerque approached by PNM turned down the donation because they had no place to store the items,” Beets said. Neither did Adelante, but they found someone to donate warehouse space, and then they got the idea for GiveABQ – a nonprofit resource center that other nonprofits could use to provide furniture for their poor and formerly homeless clients, Beets said.
GiveABQ picks up donated items from residents and businesses and transports them to the GiveABQ warehouse. The items are also listed on the organization’s website, where nonprofits can see what is available for their needy clients. Case workers can also bring their clients to the warehouse at 1520 First NW to see the items up close, said Beets.
Since its inception, more than 1,170 households have received furniture, working through the city’s Department of Family and Community Services, and such organizations as Albuquerque Heading Home, The Barrett Foundation, Crossroads for Women, Enlace Comunitario, HopeWorks, New Mexico Veterans Integration Center, Saranam, and more, said Beets.
“Providing people in need with furniture to make their home more livable is important in helping them become stable and breaking the cycle of homelessness, particularly as we move into the holidays,” Beets said. It’s also especially important during the COVID pandemic, “when people may want, or need, to stay inside their homes for long periods of time,” she added.
For Padilla, who was lost in a heroin addiction for 10 years, was incarcerated for 10 months and spent many nights on someone else’s couch, she’s just happy to have one of her own. She’s also grateful that her case manager at Crossroads for Women, which works with females emerging from incarceration, introduced her to GiveABQ.
“I don’t know what I would have done without them,” said Padilla, who is now a certified peer support worker at a local hospital, where she counsels pregnant drug-addicted women, and women who gave birth to substance addicted babies.
“I was thinking about getting a second job, but I already work full time, and I’m not 20 years old any more,” she said. “GiveABQ really was a blessing for me.”