Supporting a Unique New Approach
for Reducing Homelessness and Poverty
National Hispanic Cultural Center — Grand Ballroom
1701 4th Street SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
New Mexico winemakers and concerned citizens are coming together to support a unique new approach for reducing homelessness and poverty in Albuquerque.
On August 10, we’re holding our first Wine Tasting & Silent Auction to raise funds for opening the Saffron Strand Training Center in Albuquerque. The Center is going to help the city’s homeless and poorest residents gain skills needed in the local economy so they can get back to work in jobs that build careers.
Our venue is the Grand Ballroom of the National Hispanic Cultural Center, which is helping to sponsor this enjoyable and inspiring fundraising event. In addition to delicious wine, our distinguished guests will enjoy scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and tapas, live music, and brief but inspiring remarks by members of the community.
Claire Schmeltzer — ABO-licensed optician, ABQ BioPark docent, and Saffron Strand volunteer — will be our Master of Ceremonies.
“As a lifelong resident of Albuquerque,” Claire says, “I am passionate about my hometown and thrilled to be involved with a program that allows us to effect positive change in our community.”
Albuquerque absolutely needs the Saffron Strand Training Center. More than 95,000 city residents (17%) have income below the official poverty level. More than 44,000 (8%) get by on income that is only 50% of the poverty level (City-Data.com).
It’s not surprising that thousands are homeless sometime during the year and many thousands more are constantly at risk. Albuquerque’s poorest of the poor are desperate and vulnerable. They are often the victims of crime. They’re so desperate they sometimes perpetrate criminal acts themselves, which contributes to the city’s high crime rate.
We know that most homeless and at-risk persons want the dignity, respect, and trust that goes with legitimate, rewarding employment. But to succeed, they first must have the necessary “soft” skills and technical skills to achieve and sustain jobs that pay a living wage.
The Saffron Strand Training Center in Albuquerque will offer a totally new approach to empower employment of these vulnerable residents, providing pre-employment training and career staging with the help of local volunteers in a safe, professional office environment.
We achieved a decade of success through our Training Center and annual Homeless Workforce Conferences in the Bay Area of California. We improved the lives of hundreds of homeless people and those at risk by helping them get off the streets and back to work for the long term.
Saffron Strand, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, now incorporated in New Mexico, that seeks to reduce homelessness and extreme poverty in Albuquerque.