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Free Legal Advice in New Mexico

How can you get free legal advice when you can’t afford a lawyer? In New Mexico, many attorneys provide pro bono legal advice and legal aid without any cost to low-income citizens. These attorneys volunteer because their work helps give justice to those who otherwise would not have a voice.

Legal assistance for domestic violence, medical bills and housing rights are just some of the areas in which these attorneys work. One of the advantages of obtaining help from a volunteer attorney is that the attorney can also help connect those in need with temporary housing, domestic violence shelters and food banks.

FREE Legal Advice in New Mexico

Below is a list of free legal services in New Mexico, including legal aid, pro bono work, hotlines and more.

Dna People’s Legal Services

As a nonprofit organization, Dna People’s Legal Services provides free legal assistance, advice and representation in U.S. and tribal courts.

Family Legal Assistance Group

Family Legal Assistance Group assists low-income New Mexicans with civil matters, domestic matters and small claims. Domestic violence, housing and shelter and landlord/tenant law are some of the areas in which the New Mexico Family Legal Assistance Group help their clients.

Homeless Legal Clinic

Every Tuesday in Santa Fe, volunteer attorneys provide legal information and advice at the Homeless Legal Clinic at St. Elizabeth Shelter. At the clinic, volunteer attorneys can refer to low income and pro bono legal services in New Mexico.

Legal Aid Hotline

Hosted by New Mexico Legal Aid, the Legal Aid Hotline is for those experiencing domestic violence in their homes. There is a hotline for Albuquerque, as well as a statewide hotline for free legal advice in New Mexico.

Legal Insurance & Paperwork Assistance Program (LIPA)

Run by Cancer Services of New Mexico, LIPA offers free legal advice for cancer patients in New Mexico.

New Mexico Christian Legal Aid

New Mexico Christian Legal Aid provides free legal advice to low-income New Mexicans, as well as referrals to pro bono legal services in New Mexico. The non-profit is run by Christian lawyers, law students, paralegals and legal assistants who provide legal and spiritual assistance to the homeless and impoverished in our communities.

New Mexico Legal Aid

Dedicated to equal access to justice for all disenfranchised and low-income people and communities in the state, New Mexico Legal Aid provides outreach, training and representation through programs like its Family Advocacy Center (FAC). FAC is staffed by one attorney and one paralegal who work on domestic violence cases. New Mexico Legal Aid is a leader in coordinating pro bono attorney services in New Mexico.

Pegasus Legal Services for Children

As a private non-profit agency, Pegasus Legal Services provides civil legal services to children, youth and their caregivers in the 7th Judicial District (Torrance, Soorro, Sierra and Catron Counties). Guardian ad Litem and youth attorneys represent children and youth in foster care up to age 17. See Pegasus Legal Services in our New Mexico Resource Directory to learn more about the programs offered.

Veteran Legal Assistance

The New Mexico Bar Association Young Lawyers Section offers a free legal clinic for Veterans in New Mexico. The group offers general legal assistance for veterans as well as Veterans’ Benefits Assistance.

Do YOU know of another organization providing free legal assistance in New Mexico? Let us know in the comments!

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Summer Reading Programs in New Mexico

Libraries across New Mexico are gearing up their summer reading programs in an effort to stop the “summer slide” or the tendency for children to lose the gains that they made during the previous school year.

“Statistics show that for kids who don’t read over the summer, it takes about three to as many as six months to catch up when they start school,” Dave Florez, teen services coordinator for Farmington Public Library, said.

Summer Slide Statistics:

  • 66% of teachers spend three to four weeks re-teaching course material at the beginning of the year.
  • 24% reteach last year’s material for five to six weeks, according to a survey by the National Summer Learning Association.
  • Low income students are most affected by the summer slide, losing more than 2 months in reading achievement over summer vacation, according to a study by Johns Hopkins University.
  • All students, regardless of income level, lost 2 months in match achievement over the summer, according to the study.

The good news: studies show summer reading programs to be effective at preventing the summer slide. For example, a study of low-income students by the University of California-Irvine showed that students enrolled in a voluntary summer reading program scored better on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills compared to students who did not receive summer reading intervention.

Reading is just one of the ways children and teens can avoid the summer slide. Farmington Public Library hosts Technology Tuesdays for teens, where students can experiment with robotics and even a 3D printer. Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library’s summer reading program also includes concerts, arts and crafts and technology.

FREE Family Passes to Museums & More!

Public libraries throughout the state are offering free Family Passes to NM museums and historic sites. Borrow the pass like any library material for up to one week and get free admission for up to 6 people at any of the Department of Cultural Affairs' museums and historic sites. See the list here.

Summer Reading Programs in New Mexico

Here are a few summer reading programs in New Mexico:

Albuquerque Bernalillo County Library

ABC Library’s Summer Reading kicks off on June 4 at the South Broadway Library. Everyone is invited to register for the free 6-week program for children, tweens, teens and adults.

Farmington Public Library

Children teens and adults can register for Farmington Public Library’s summer reading program online. At the end of the summer, participants can join the Carnivale Blast celebration.

Capitan Public Library

Designed for children aged 5-12, the summer reading program at Capital Library meets every Monday during June and July. To register, call (575) 354-3035.

New Mexico Public Education Department

This is the fourth year for the New Mexico True Summer Reading Challenge, which is open to students 5 to 12 years old. One reader and three family members will win an all expense trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida, and two readers will win a balloon trip with Gov. Susana Martinez at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

Know of any other summer reading programs in New Mexico? Let us know in the comments!

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Help for Veterans in New Mexico

There are more than 160,000 veterans in New Mexico—that’s more than 10% of the population! New Mexico has a high concentration of veterans compared to other states, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

May is National Veteran’s Appreciation month in New Mexico and throughout the nation. A few quick facts about veterans in New Mexico:

  • Approximately 8.4% of veterans were living below the poverty level in 2013.
  • Of those living below the poverty line, about 36% had a disability.
  • Veteran unemployment rates are typically lower, with about 7% of veterans unemployed.
  • New Mexico is a leader in ending veteran homelessness, with Las Cruces and Santa Fe effectively ending veteran homelessness, and Albuquerque not far behind.

Below are veterans’ organizations in New Mexico dedicated to helping vets with all aspects of life, including jobs, healthcare and housing for homeless vets. These are just some of the Veterans’ organizations available on ShareNM.org—to see even more veterans’ organizations in New Mexico, visit our Resource Directory.

DISABLED VETS

New Mexico Disabled American Veterans

New Mexico Disabled American Veterans has a nationwide transportation network to help sick and disabled veterans get to and from their local VA medical facility.

Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc.

Veterans impaired by spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, amytropic later sclerosis and other spinal cord damage can get assistance through the Zia Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Inc.

HEALTHCARE

VA Community Clinic

Part of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the VA Community Clinic provides primary adult medical health care for veterans in New Mexico, as well as mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment.

Healthcare for Homeless Veterans New Mexico

Located at 1501 San Pedro Drive SE, Albuquerque, Healthcare for Homeless Veterans New Mexico provides public benefits support services and supportive housing for homeless vets.

Gallup Veterans’ Transition Center

The Gallup Veterans’ Transition Center provides a 28-day substance abuse program for eligible veterans, including behavioral and mental health counseling.

Veteran and Family Support Services

Veterans and their family members can receive case management, behavioral health assessments, treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injuries at Veteran and Family Support Services.

VETERAN EMPLOYMENT & CAREERS

New Mexico Veterans Outreach Business Center

Are a veteran who would like to start or expand your New Mexico business? The New Mexico Veterans Outreach Business Center is dedicated to helping veterans start their own business, and also helping business owners expand.

Veterans’ Hiring Initiative

The Sandoval County Veterans’ Hiring Initiative assists veterans in transitioning to civilian life by increasing their employment opportunities with the Sandoval County government.

New Mexico State University Veterans Affair Office

Need help obtaining your GI Bill benefits in New Mexico? The New Mexico State University Veterans Affair Office can help with your GI Bill FASA forms and requesting state residency for tuititon.

HOMELESS VETS

New Mexico Veterans Integration Centers

For homeless veterans in New Mexico, the New Mexico Veterans Integration Center helps those who are experiencing a housing crisis or who are homeless. Housing for men and women, employment training and counseling are just some of the ways New Mexico Veterans Integration Centers helps homeless vets.

Women Veterans of New Mexico

Providing support for all female veterans, Women Veterans of New Mexico provides support to homeless veterans or veterans who are nearly homeless.

Serve Veterans Fund

Working side-by-side with the Freedom Camp Social Club, the Serve Veterans Fund provides a variety of services to Veterans, including housing and shelter, healthcare, job training and much more.

Las Vegas Homeless Veterans Transitional Housing Reintegration Center

Serving homeless vets throughout New Mexico but primarily in the northeaster portion of the state, this program works with other community agencies to identify the needs of local veterans and provide help.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE

Veteran Legal Assistance

The New Mexico Bas Association Young Lawyers Division offers free legal assistance to veterans in New Mexico.

NATIVE AMERICAN VETS

Southwest Native American Veterans Association

For Native American veterans who need help obtaining VA benefits, the Southwest Native Veterans Association can help. SWNAVA increases and enhances access to VA benefits and services, including Veterans’ healthcare, housing, employment and education.

Do YOU know of any veterans’ organizations in New Mexico that aren’t on the list? Let us know in the comments!

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Help Us Design SHARE 2.0!

At SHARE New Mexico, we're the planning stages of designing our next generation, SHARE 2.0, and we need YOUR help. Throughout May, we’ll be hosting focus groups in Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Albuquerque to learn how we can make ShareNM.org better.

For the past three years, we’ve provided a community webspace built by and for New Mexicans to support our work together to improve our local communities.

Our goal, as always, is to provide you with an easy-to-use and useful community webspace for sharing information and aligning our efforts to improve the quality of life of all New Mexicans. We would like to hear from you about:

  • the kinds of information you need and use for your work;
  • the way you look for and share information with others;
  • the issues that are important to you and your community.

Please join us in a focus group to explore these questions and provide input into the design of SHARE 2.0. Feel free to invite others who might want to learn more about and contribute to SHARE New Mexico.  However, space is limited. Please RSVP to wendy@sharenm.org 

FOCUS GROUP DATES:

LAS CRUCES

Date:     May 3, 2016

Time:     1:00-3:00 PM

Place:    NGage New Mexico 

3880 Foothills, Suite A

Las Cruces, NM 88011

SANTA FE

Date:     May 18, 2016

Time:     1:00-3:00 PM

Place:   Santa Fe Community Foundation

501 Halona St.

Santa Fe, NM 87505

ALBUQUERQUE
Date:    
May 25, 2016

Time:   1:00-3:00 PM

Place:  Albuquerque Community Foundation

624 Tijeras Ave NW

Albuquerque, NM 87102

Unable to join one of our focus groups? Please give us feedback by taking our survey!

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Environmental Organizations in New Mexico

With Earth Day coming up on April 22, we’re taking a look at environmental organizations in New Mexico. Throughout the state, environmental organizations work in many capacities to protect environments now and in the future. From wildlife conservation to environmental literacy for children, here are a few environmental organizations in New Mexico that you can find on ShareNM.org:

Environmental Education Association of New Mexico

According to the Environmental Education Association’s website, children today play outside half as much as their parents did. The Environmental Education Association of New Mexico is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental literacy by providing professional development for both classroom and non-formal educators.

Training Resources for the Environmental Community

Training Resources for the Environmental Community (TREC) is a New Mexico environmental organization dedicated to habitat conservation and wilderness protection in the state. The organization develops and inspires leaders who can enable their staff, volunteers, board members and donors to achieve habitat conservation and wilderness protection.

New Mexico Environmental Law Center

The New Mexico Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit law firm that works to restore and protect western wild lands. With various locations throughout the state, the New Mexico nonprofit also advocates for healthy environments on behalf of communities in the Southwest. Addressing a variety of impacts on New Mexico’s environment, the nonprofit is concerned with pollution and irresponsible development, protecting the water and air, and mitigating impacts on human health and cultural sites.

National Tribal Environmental Council

Located in Albuquerque, NM, the National Tribal Environmental Council (NTEC) supports American Indian tribes in managing, protecting and regulating their environments according to their own priorities and values. NTEC has policy, advocacy and communications programs to educate the public on environmental issues, defend tribal jurisdiction and authority and assist tribes in intergovernmental environmental partnerships.

Earth Force

Earth Force is a New Mexico nonprofit environmental association that is committed to engaging young citizens to improve the environment in their communities. Earth Force trains educators to guide their students to collect water quality data while working with Albuquerque city engineers to learn about stormwater management. Students then design a project to address the environmental issue of their choice.

Hawks Aloft

Another New Mexico nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to helping children is Hawks Aloft, which seeks to conserve indigenous wild birds through conservation education for preschool through 12th grade students. Hawks Aloft is also committed to performing avian research and raptor rescues.

Nicodemus Wilderness Project

The Nicodemus Wilderness Project coordinates volunteer events throughout New Mexico to restore and maintain neglected public lands. By working with local communities, the Nicodemus Wilderness Project aims to educate youth about environmental stewardship.

Do YOU know any New Mexico environmental organizations that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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