Church Hope

Dr. Nancy McMillan describes the geographic evolution of Health and Human Service fragmentation across the City of Las Cruces.  Today, access service locations continue to create risks for those without safe and reliable transportation. When experiencing homelessness, traveling on foot from one location to another is dangerous and exhausting, a terrible threat to life especially for youth and the elderly.

Escalated service needs had overstressed the limited space available to serve food and offer clinical healthcare contact at Saint Andrews Episcopal Church, and in-time justified by common sense the notion to consolidate and centralize public health services in-and-around the nearby downtown Las Cruces area.


Hope Stories 006 –– 1h 16m Recorded 29 June 2018 at NMSU Public History Seminar Room, Breland Hall 258.

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Hacienda del Sol

Dr. Nancy Baker speaks about Mesilla Valley Community of Hope before programs like Abode Permanent Housing, Sue’s House, and Oak Street Veterans Housing Program.

Past-board President of Hacienda del Sol Homeless Family Services, which began in 1994, Dr. Baker reminds us about the dangers of heat exhaustion, dehydration, and nutritional food insecurity for the homeless or near-homeless in Las Cruces.

No longer active as a Mesilla Valley Community of Hope collaborating partner, Hacienda del Sol highlights the Las Cruces community’s need for women and children protective services.

Dr. Baker concludes the following highlight clip with thoughtful insight about unsheltered men in Las Cruces, and the eventual creation of Camp Hope.

Hacienda Del SolListen:

A 2004 Internet Archive post from MVCH’s then homepage shares Hacienda del Sol’s mission statement, which read:

Assist families and women to become stable and self-sufficient by providing housing, support and guidance in a positive environment that promotes lasting change.

Hope Stories 005 –– 1h 35m Recorded 15 June 2018 at NMSU Public History Seminar Room, Breland Hall 258.

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History Notes

Branigan Cultural Center presents History Notes Thursdays at 1 pm.  The museum is located at 501 North Main Street in Downtown Las Cruces, New Mexico.

In introduction of Hope Stories, on September 13th, 2018, my History Notes talk and dialogue encourages thoughtful consideration of charity in Las Cruces and the origins of today’s Mesilla Valley Community of Hope.

Like all History Notes, entrance is free and donations are welcome.

Hope Stories History Notes pdf Poster

Hope Stories Bibliography pdf

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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.


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.


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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