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The organization sees the largest number of homeless families in Albuquerque in need of assistance

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ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – On Thursday morning, Samta Alhassan was reading to her young daughter, Fatima. “He counts to 20, he knows how to name colors, he’s always singing. He is just amazing. And I’m really grateful for the change they helped my daughter experience,” said Alhassan.

It was just a few months ago that she said the two were homeless, staying in a hotel, and in what she said was a domestic abuse situation. He said an Albuquerque Community Safety worker helped him connect with Quidando Los Niños. The organization aims to break the cycle of homelessness in families by providing free childcare and wraparound support services for adults. Since then, Quidando has helped Samta get into school and get a part-time job while providing free childcare for Fatima.

“They don’t care about your baby. They also have programs that help you build yourself up as a parent and build yourself up to be the homeless person you were when you came to them,” Samata said.

It appears that more families are coming to organizations in need of services and support. “This is the highest number we’ve had on our waiting list since I’ve been here, and we have about 80 families waiting to be served,” said Annamarie Luna, director of family support services at Quidando Los Niños.

Since joining the organization about a year ago, he said they have had to hire about 20 to 50 more employees.

“Quidando gave me back the hope I needed in humanity,” he said. “Believing again that people are capable of making changes that families want to change and that they want to take care of their children and they just need support to do that.”

The company is gearing up to hopefully expand its reach. Funded by the city and county, Quidando is also getting a big boost from Los Neos billionaire and well-known philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. The organization is receiving a $2 million grant.

“This grant will allow us to do things that city and county and state funding doesn’t allow us to pay for,” Luna said. He said the money could help them expand classroom and office space.

In this they will be able to help more families like Samata and Fatima. “Without Quidando, I honestly don’t know where I would be,” Samata said.

Quidando Los Niños Assists approximately 120 families annually. They are always accepting financial, food and clothing donations.

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