Posted at: 06/24/2014 9:00 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4
One of the toughest struggles for many mentally ill people released from jail is getting back on their feet without a place to live. Tuesday, Bernalillo County approved funding for 75 supportive housing units to help them transition back into society and learn the life skills they need to be successful.
Marisa Garrett got supportive housing resources through Maya’s Place and Crossroads, a nonprofit, after going in and out of jail multiple times.
“For me, it took me 18 times and 6 times further up and now today I'm a productive member of society. I have my kids. I'm a mother, I have a daughter, I'm somebody today that I'm proud to be,” Garrett said.
She and others shared with commissioners how they needed nonprofit supportive housing to get back on their feet.
“Love... zero judgment, just open arms and love. They love us so much and they're so supportive that without them I wouldn't have been able to make it,” Garrett said.
Commissioners chose to give 75 more people at a time that chance. They’ll front $300,000 this year and commit to funding or finding $800,000 next year.
Supporters touted economic and public safety benefits, but the most passionate speakers spoke about lives that could be changed.
“Direction for my mental illness, for mental health, to live life on life's terms. Everyday life skills- you forget that during that time and you have to be retaught that and how to do it,” Garrett said.