ALAMOGORDO — HELP-NM, Inc. presented a proposal to use the Chaparral Community Center for early childhood services in the community at Thursday’s Otero County Commission meeting.
County Commissioners agreed to discuss the topic during their fall strategic meeting to see if they can have a public meeting in Chaparral to garner feedback from residents to see if they would like to see the community center utilized by HELP-NM to offer programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start.
The meetings have not been scheduled at this time.
According to HELP-NM’s website, for more than 51 years, HELP-NM has provided services to more than 950,000 individuals and families. The 501c3 organization exists to create self-sufficiency and promote economic opportunities to strengthen families throughout New Mexico.
HELP-NM CEO Michael Gutierrez and Vice President of the Office of Learning and Academic Opportunity Gloria Lopez were in attendance at Thursday’s meeting and briefed commissioners on the need for early childhood services in Chaparral.
“Our main focus is on communities in the rural areas because we feel that these areas don’t really have these services,” said Gutierrez. “We have a couple partnerships with this county already. We would like to expand those services by asking for a building to add revenue to your county in Chaparral.”
Lopez said HELP-NM currently serves 23 counties in New Mexico, five of which are in southern New Mexico.
HELP-NM has been serving southern New Mexico since 1970 and offers services in Hidalgo County, Luna County, Doña Ana County, Sierra County and Otero County.
Approximately 600 children are served from prenatal to 5 years of age. The key programs they offer are Head Start, Early Head Start and NM Pre-K. The services also include education, mental health, nutrition, disabilities, health, family services and parent engagement.
– See the full article by Jacqueline Devine here
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