This is part five in a series.
Although Los Alamos County’s low-income population may be small, providing services for that population presents major challenges.
The county’s size and wealth works against it. It lacks a homeless shelter and halfway houses. It is ineligible for funding from low-income housing programs. It is too small to merit social security or New Mexico Human Services Department offices.
“At the core of this, it’s this idea of resources. When you’re in a larger metropolitan region, there are more people, there’s a larger scale problem, but you also have much more critical mass of resources and agencies and nonprofit organizations and expertise that are available to help you,” said Housing and Special Projects Manager Paul Andrus.
Kim Mitchell, community support worker for Presbyterian Medical Services, works with clients not only on medical management issues but on housing, income and other needs. He frequently does outreach to what he calls “an invisible population of homeless people,”
“Homelessness here in Los Alamos is a major issue,” Mitchell said. Like Andrus, Mitchell believes a lack of resources underlies the problem.