CARE Complex

Volunteer executive director of the North Las Vegas Critical Assistance Relief Effort known as CARE ComplexGlenn Trowbridge speaks about the complexities of assisting the homelessness, the inaccurate and unrealistic expectations about Las Vegas, and the low-pay and real-time financial difficulties of securing affordable housing in the area.

Listen:

Las Vegas, Nevada’s CARE Complex adds a vital perspective and comparative counterbalance to the service model of Las Cruces’ Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

Though the Las Vegas homeless population is ranked fourth highest in the United States –– those in need estimated to be in the thousands –– both Las Vegas and Las Cruces communities seek to consolidate access services into one central location.

The affordable housing and homelessness crisis in Las Vegas has led to the creation of the Corridor of Hope, modeled after the Haven of Hope in San Antonio, Texas.

Find out more about the services provided at the CARE Complex in a 2016 Blog Post featuring CARE ambassador Mat Ellis.

CARE_building_quote_by_mat_ellis_WEB-1170x500

photo near the CARE Complex entrance by Mat Ellis

Hope Stories 004 –– 1h 36m. Recorded 19 April 2018 at the CARE Complex, 200 Foremaster Lane in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Saint Luke’s

Saint Luke’s mission includes the core values of Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence, and Service.  The featured logo will soon be replaced by a newer, rebranded logo to introduce the grand opening of Amador Health Center.

Peer support specialist at Saint Luke’s Health Care Clinic, James Sassak comments on the dangers of trauma brought on by harmful psychological duress after emergency care and hospitalization, being ticketed and indebted with trespass charges which may result in failure to appear warrants, and the problem of being identified as homeless.

Later in the conversation, James offers the potential solution of Homeless Court Programs to help resolve these issues in Las Cruces.

Listen:

Hope Stories 003 –– 1h 42m.  Recorded 29 March 2018 at Jardin de Los Niños La Paz Room on the Hope Campus.

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Jardin de Los Niños

Executive Director of Jardin de Los Niños Audrey Hardman-Hartley, recipient of the John Paul Taylor Social Justice Award, speaks about the Dogs Who Read program and early education in New Mexico.

Defining therapeutic intervention developmental screening, Audrey outlines new 2018 health and human service resources available on the Community of Hope Campus.

Listen:

Hope Stories 002 –– 1h 37m. Recorded 9 March 2018 at Jardin de Los Niños La Paz Room on the Hope Campus.

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Camp Hope

Facilitator of the Great Conversation, Randy Harris shares the importance of community dialogue and collaborative problem solving.  To learn more, visit a 5 May 2014 Give Grande fundraiser post which features The Great Conversation mission statement at the Hope Village blog.

Listen:

Hope Stories 001 –– 1h 30m. Recorded 2 March 2018 at Jardin de Los Niños La Paz Room on the Hope Campus.

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Hope Stories Question List

These questions are designed as a general outline to the intentions of the Hope Stories project, and as a working guideline for how the interview might progress.

The Hope Stories Questions list seeks to establish rapport, to create greater access of memory recall, and to prepare participants for the day of the interview.  The following list is subject to change with each narrator’s background, field of specialization in the community, and the personal story that each individual narrator chooses to share.

Suggested subjects, personal events, and specific questions for discussion and conversation are always encouraged.  For more information about working together and developing questions for the story you would most like to tell, Contact me by phone or email with questions, thoughts, and comments.

All recordings begin with a short introduction which details interview location, date, and anyone who may be present other than the narrator and the interviewer. In addition to the digital file- name of the recording, the interview begins when the narrator states:


Full name
Hometown 
Current role or recent advocacy at Mesilla Valley Community of Hope


Biographical

Will you share a story about growing up

Where did you go to school –– What career did you imagine for yourself

Talk about highlights of your personal biography before Mesilla Valley Community of Hope –– Education, Travel, Business, Volunteerism

Talk about the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope and Doña Ana County services that matter most to your work

Hope Stories

What is your perspective on holding good employment in Las Cruces

How did you first experience what today is commonly called a “tent-city”

Discuss differences between sanctioned and unsanctioned tent-cities

How can community support help or hinder success for the homeless

Talk about the benefits of transitional housing programs like Tents-to-Rents––            Complications

Discuss some of the challenges of maintaining health when experiencing homelessness

Which clinical services and healthcare programs help the homeless to access food and shelter

Hope New Mexico

Tell me about services and resources outside Camp Hope that work –– those that do not

How do access services to public housing differ throughout the State of New Mexico and the City of Las Cruces

What is your knowledge of poverty and hunger in rural areas of the state

Have you worked with Community of Hope clients from New Mexico Colonias

What is your knowledge about New Mexico’s transition between the traditional federal Food Stamp Program and today’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

In your experience, have programs like New Mexico’s use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) helped avoid homelessness

Hope Work

How do City, State or Federal funding programs play a role in your work

Can you talk about specific city or state institutional challenges of helping people who are living at Camp Hope

Discuss some of the challenges of maintaining health when experiencing homelessness

Which clinical services and healthcare access programs help the homeless access food and shelter

Are soup kitchens vital to the homeless community

Hope Care

In your own daily and weekly routine, what methods of self-care work best

What programs are you aware of that help to alleviate the stress that can occur for those working to help the homeless

Are there employer, city, or state systems which support your healthcare

Do you have a retirement program as part of your work

Hope Future

Do future programs show promise to help the homeless in Las Cruces

Name three of the most valuable contributions or levels of support, not present today, that would help the homeless in Las Cruces immediately

How do you envision the future of the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope

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Mesilla Valley Community of Hope Stories

This project explores human rights, access to services, and city resources as seen through the experiences of staff, community advocates, and city officials at Mesilla Valley Community of Hope (MVCH).  The New Mexico State University Public History based project seeks to document those who have worked to mitigate community issues including yet not limited to:

  • Poverty
  • Homelessness
  • Child Hunger
  • Public Health

My intention as interviewer at Mesilla Valley Community of Hope:

To collect oral history interviews of MVCH staff, advocates, and city officials who have contributed to the ongoing success of the community. Interviews are limited to 120 minutes, held in agreed upon and pre-scheduled settings, and voluntary.

To participate in the project, all potential narrators must be a current MVCH staff member or volunteer, or an approved community advocate whose work has directly contributed to the success of the five collaborating organizations located on the

Hope Campus:

Should time permit, MVCH contributing sponsors may be considered for short, 30 minute or less interviews outlining participation to the community.

Additional interviews may be considered for other contributing organizations in the area, such as the Las Cruces Gospel Rescue Mission and the NMSU Aggie Cupboard; however, the core of the project’s focus highlights the Hope Campus.

As a potential narrator, please review the following declaration of research documents which includes the required Informed Consent signature pages. A specific set of potential interviewee questions will be made available soon.

Please contact David Lee with any questions, thoughts, or comments.

Thank you for your kindness and patience in consideration of the Hope Stories project.

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Podcasts ‘R’ Us?

Podcasts pose challenges beyond the historical applications of analog oral history methodology.  Pre-interview etiquette, in-depth narrator research, closely monitored sound recording levels and interviewing techniques all continue to be valuable skills of born-digital oral history collection; however, as the Oral History in the Liberal Arts website points out: Choosing a Digital Tool to Visualize, Oraganize, and Publish Interview Collections is an important consideration at all stages of project development.  As every seasoned sound editor knows from too little planning too late: the sooner the better.

Douglas Boyd’s Survey of Oral History Podcasts —like most things Dr. Boyd has endeavored to share on the internet — is an invaluable link for those under the impression that widespread podcasting use has passed its prime on the internet.


It should be clear that both professional and amateur historians have access to the tools of podcasting.  As we progress into the future of New Mexico, like many other states, remember that such access is often dependent on digital literacy and Wi-Fi availability initiatives in rural and underserved areas.  It should not be a surprise that not everyone under the sun has access to the internet.  To learn more about broadband internet service in New Mexico, check out the New Mexico Broadband Map from the Office of Broadband & Geospatial Initiatives. 


 

Rising legions of storytellers, such as Humans of New York, continue to redefine oral history as a medium of the people.  Closer to home, Humans of New Mexico follows this lead with its own brand of community based public history.

Regardless my own lone-wolf tendencies, Oral History, like podcasting, truly works best from a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and open source approach.  It is crucial to credit everyone involved on a project, and especially to remember that positive workflow is contagious to future success.

Another insight: keep in mind that your own success may influence others to adopt certain aspects of your work— this is a good thing.  Use your workflow magic, or lose it.


Workflow is one of the most challenging aspects of collection and preservation of oral history recordings.  In order to develop a connection intended audiences, consider and plan how to display your interviews for others to listen to online.


 

Kate Brenner’s website Amplify: The Oral History Podcast Network helps to serve this need for clarity by presenting podcast methods alongside oral history practice, an encouraging call for post-production balance before interviews rather than after.

One last note in time for America’s most contested holiday of privileged class leisure, the Story Corps Great Thanksgiving Listen explores oral history and podcasting on a macro level experience.  Despite recent reports of sound and production worker unionization after complaints of inadequate compensation, it is difficult to criticize Story Corps without recognizing its potential to democratize public history access, and to show how everyday people can record and document their own story.

Regardless postproduction funding and community support,  everyone should have access to oral history, podcasting, and storytelling from the heart.

Good Luck!

 

 

 

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NMSU Summer Archive Internship

Los Poblanos Open Space, September 2014

In the archive, avoid to-do “which” lists that include any list of chores, errands, or projects that cannot be processed by real human beings.  In the archive, and its companion library system, any number of misfortune, pitfall, or researcher led ghost-chase jeopardizes archivists who cannot work collaboratively to solve problems.  Simply — in the university archive — too many projects risk disaster without clear staff communication.

The lonely call of the shoestring budget; ever-dreaded project pushback hype (don’t believe it); monsoon season water leakage across your beloved collections’ corners; lost processing time and unforeseen side-projects; low, absent, even nonexistent staff morale across the institution: such mechanisms limit human health and conducive productivity (forget project production) and further risks academically fabricated curmudgeons of the house repository variety.

The worst-of-all list includes poorly communicated objectives and a lack of basic operational instructions. Avoid neglectful guidance practices for work-study employees, ambiguous internship tasks and goals, and generalized absences of diversified staff character and the project engagements important to the archive.  Does your university archive TO-DO list extend well into the future? Of course, the answer continues resound, Yes!  We are archivists.

In the archive, today’s professionals debate, negotiate, and press forward to define what archival and collection management practices mean and, likewise, how the community responds.  Does your archive suffer unreasonably from a staffing, funding, or identity slump — ask yourself: how does the community support or hinder the workflow whereby the archive hopes to collect and organize itself.

Do your archive holdings generate a local or regional memory, perhaps a single geographic area, cultural perspective or favorite folklore inquiry such as Billy the Kid?  Who currently uses the archive, and why should researchers and patrons be interested in the collection of materials behind your research room walls?

These questions, and more, depend on the archivist’s message and methodologies shown through good policy, and met with staff driven information about the resources and materials available for research room display.  What holdings draw-on and share historic value for the community?

How can the archive relate to the present day, and whose story does the archive tell, and why, where, what, when, and who described these stories?  If these questions are not obvious: hire a library and archives public relations contractor immediately.

What more!  Where does the archive display itself: the front room, the first floor library display case, the swap-meet or versatile yet cumbersome pop-up storyboard-on-tour?  Francis Blouin reminds us that “historians usually come to the archive intending to tell a story or substantiate an interpretation.” Like it or not, the present day archive belongs to the user seeking information about the contents of a collection believed to be relevant.  That said, like the library, there are policies which archive users must follow in order to heighten their own respectful research experience.

Does your archive provide a clear message and accessible points of reference which help researchers to this outcome of success?  If the answer is no, your archive has problems.

        territory of the Summer archives

In the archive — of my perspective — the need for processing of accessioned material thrives when balanced between human labor, work-time, and the community’s desire to use research rooms vigorously, numerously, and responsibly.

The New Mexico State University Archives, located at Branson Library, holds the Rio Grande Historical Collection (RGHC) with public access on the 4th floor at the Caroline E. Stras Research Room, open Monday through Friday 9 AM – 4 PM during regular Fall and Spring semester.

A July 2017 article in the Las Cruces Bulletin details NMSU Archives department head Dennis Daily’s outreach and collaboration with “10 other historical repositories … to highlight the work they do to preserve local history and culture.”  NMSU Archives houses local memory through the Amador Family papers, the New Mexico Irrigation information, and New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, to name only a few.

The RGHC Information File features annotated description of these holdings while the RGHC Subject Index provides alphabetical listing of collection content.  The NMSU Library Digital Collections allow students and community patrons online access to past university activities, historical photographs and publications, in addition to helpful library guides which present sometimes distinctive, sometimes interconnected, histories of NMSU status as a Land Grant University.

The opportunity of the archives internship helped form many new projects, and further serves to codify much of my past archival experience. For example, collaboration with university staff during collection workflow and applied box and folder level processing techniques — digital management of audio recorded material especially — which, in turn, drives my fascination for collecting and describing the objects and intellectual property of the past and present.

My intention is to work with archivists within the field, and to make oral history collections, curations, and well preserved born-digital sound narratives.

This effort includes Public History and patron awareness of the archive as a place much more than a repository of papers, historical media formats, and ancestral community objects.  I believe explicitly that the function of the university archive should be to provide physical and digital open-access, well preserved records and papers, and Special Collection displays representative of NMSU students, staff, and alumni, and especially the widely diverse Las Cruces and southern New Mexico communities.

        processing + accessioning

This summer’s internship projects combined traditional categories of archival processing with slightly more modern enterprises of audio-tape to digital-conversion of oral history interviews.  The accessioned Aubrey L. Dunn Papers seek folder level description.  The Herman B. Weisner Papers comprise, in part, oral histories recorded on reel-to-reel tape, converted to audio tape, and now carefully converted a final time to WAV file format.

Dunn Papers processing will result in a finding aid in Rocky Mountain Online Archive (RMOA).  My primary task includes a short review of each box, and a ten-to-twenty word description of each folder.  This information is then entered into an old fashioned (hopefully soon retired) Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to await further review.  Data is then edited into what Archives Space calls, rather than a Finding Aid, a Resource Record.

A guidebook to my work, the Beinecke Processing Manual chaperones all levels of the archival process.  Likewise, Archives Space is soon capable of uploading a newer RMOA website, a promising development to bring collaborative, problem solving joy to librarians and archivists once NMSU Library user database migrate early in 2018.  An Archives Space webinar calls the process a “model in transition,” which quests to deliver higher patron access, and student engagement with NMSU libraries, archives, and special collections.

With a sure foot in both worlds, NMSU Library Specialist Jennifer Chavez introduced Archives Space, a web application for archives Information Management Systems (IMS) which seeks to categorize collection holdings.  As RMOA updates its online presence, Archives Space fills the gap between the physical past and digital present.  Its origins with the Archivists Toolkit, and container (box) management philosophy supported through Lyrasis, Archives Space holds the current title of preferred software for the next generation of archivists.  An obvious reason for this clear support: attention to Describing Archives Content Standard (DACS) and the claim of capable content migration from classic format standards such as EAD, EAC, MARCXML, MODS, and Dublin Core.

By offering to provide a macro appraisal of NMSU holdings, Jennifer works with Archives Space to migrate already existing collection data into Primo, the NMSU Library’s new user database.  These tools and collaborations, and more, are sure to be a part of my student employee position this fall semester in the archive.

         into the future archives

Present technologies do not remove the work (our energy-consumed human labor) necessary to provide physical access to the items available in the collection.  A noticeable difference between Dunn and Weisner collections ― because the Dunn Papers are currently accessioned without a linkable finding aid, the Weisner Papers present a good example of the future Archives Space resource record.

The purpose of a finding aid, according to the Society for American Archivists, is to create a records’ description for best practice activities and to promote “physical and intellectual control over the materials [and] assist users to gain access to and understand the materials.”  Without a finding aid or resource record, how will your patrons discover the archive collection?

Since NMSU archives seek to maintain a digitized workflow for analog cassette tapes to the digital WAV format, the opportunity exists to learn more about processes which rescue sound materials from technical obsolescence, the audio slave’s dreaded result of outdated media losing the ability to be recovered due to damage, missing status, or a lack of technological means for digitization to take place.  For instance, without a workable reel-to-reel player, audio holdings risk oblivion should they not be attended to by archives’ staff or, alternatively, outsourced to expensive private vendors.

A helpful guide to understanding this process, The Digitization of Audio Tapes – Technical Bulletin No. 30 details numerous potentials by which analog and digital incompatibilities can complicate recovery of antiquated recordings.  Here at NMSU archives, and with help from campus Instructional Media Services (IMS – a local campus acronym), Herman Weisner reel-to-reel tapes may soon be available thanks to the initiative to develop workflow conversion methods and future practice.

My 2017-2018 internship works with archive materials through the above established traditional methods i.e. box processing and audio file preservation, yet also in a closely knit schedule (Thursday recordings) of oral history throughout New Mexico.

Especially important to me, a Las Cruces community project to identify and record the people and organizations who advocate for those experiencing poverty, homelessness, and hunger in New Mexico.

Now a full year of writing, researching, and preparing to voice the project to the community, Fall & Spring presents the opportunity to begin the initial recordings of narrator Historias and Narratives of New Mexico.

As I conclude my Summer Internship, and continue my experience as a part-time employee, a few questions about NMSU archival practice remain; namely, available documentation of current processing guidelines, such as More Product, Less Processing (MPLP), and archives’ staff interest to survey itself about institutional practices and university archives policy.

In light of changing technology, another important insight to research further: archives recommendations to accession born-digital audio recordings into the collection.  For instance, should oral historians solicit NMSU archives to house digital files, what criteria need occur for a successful project to unfold?

From earlier this Summer at a NMSU archives sponsored workshop: does the archive plan to implement WESTPAS, a disaster recovery network of archivists and library professionals who seek to limit the disaster and recovery impacts of natural and manmade damage to archival materials?  Perhaps establishing a communication network of “first to call” documents, or even a helpful Lib Guide, could help to prevent future threat to the physical integrity of NMSU and Branson library collections.

These ideas, and many more in mind, Fall semester guarantees processing engagement, archival scholarship, and — in the archive — the welcomed pace of Las Cruces

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Public History Thesis

Can the American home and workplace become sensible, inclusive, and clearly accessible to human beings without recourse from bad credit, zombie debt, and the historical threat of cyclical individual and familia poverty?

How do individuals, small groups, and municipal organizations collectively apply ethical methods and means to synthesize public health resource; to creatively expand legibility and self awareness campaigns of quality available services; and, to thereby increase access to localized healthcare for everyone in the community?

Can sustainable living arrangements between individual citizens and the city, county, and state support system address New Mexico’s current and future needs?

If so, how? If not, why not?

 



Plainly, will adnaseum nationalistic and quasi-democratic principles be exposed for the false storybook narrative that Americans must clarify and contend with politically and personally in order to learn the truth about historic social services in America?

In conjunction with the importance of self-care, vital mental health corridors of crisis intervention, and resources for domestic violence and unemployment –– can individual cities in New Mexico overcome the historical distinction of the fiftieth poorest state?

Can New Mexicans feed, clothe, and house those experiencing poverty, homelessness, and hunger in both rural and urban environments?



 

The American workplace, with the home as nearby as possible, cries out for reasonable and sustainable functions of livability; clear and commonplace human-systems understanding; and more easily accessed safety corridors of healthcare services, longterm housing assistance programs, and beneficial employer relationships with the labor forces who have worked, and continue to work each day, to maintain prosperity. 

 



Are community gardens available to each home-owner or renter?

Can homes be constructed with communal labor and supplies?

Does drug and alcohol addiction prevent someone from a home without proper case worker intervention?

How does mental health and wellbeing play a role in attaining sufficient workforce income to pay for a home or a monthly rent payment which includes utilities?

What is the purpose of ownership in the community if not to sustain the people?

Does ownership provide access to public health, or it really just a stigmatized status symbol — like the perception of the costumed homeward bound Hobo — and quite aside today’s problem between the haves-not and the haves-everything?



 

However temporary or profitable, over inflated property rent is a form of indentured servitude. Land and property tenor is certainly important; although, ownership of personal property risks misconstrued accountability held between tenants, landlords, and city services.

Is homelessness dependent on the circumstances of the individuals and their families, or due in part to the conditions of the state?

Finally, what are the causes and symptoms of poverty, homelessness, and hunger in New Mexico — and does the current network of state social services provide for the needs of both rural and urban New Mexicans?

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