Just as temperatures dropped to winter lows, Las Cruces based The Ability Center rode into town on two days this January to distribute much needed cold-weather supplies and food cards to 87 senior and/or physically challenged residents.
The Ability Center distributed 80 $50 food cards redeemable at the San Jose Grocery and space heaters to qualified residents. A total of 87 residents received scarves, jackets, gloves, thermal socks and beanies to keep them warm. Their community investment totaled over $10,000.
“We came to Columbus because we know there is a great need due to economic factors and the ruralness of the community,” said Albert Montoya, Executive Director. “We are an agency that works very hard to carry out its mission even during this pandemic when the need is greater.”
The group helps keep those with disabilities or above 65 in their homes by providing critical supports such as food and warmth. In Luna County they have served 252 people. Food cards are purchased from local vendors like San Jose and Peppers, keeping more of those funds within the communities they serve and ensuring cards are useable close to home.
The Ability Center was established in 1989 as a Center for Independent Living. Their federally mandated program is made up of 5 core services: Information & Referral; Advocacy; Independent Skills Training; Peer Membership; and Youth/Institutional Transition Services.
“If we can reduce the risk of institutionalization and improve the quality of life of the disabled and elderly community of Columbus, we’re progressing well,” said Montoya.