Together we can defeat COVID-19 and heal our community; that is the message behind the latest report released by the City of Las Cruces detailing the City's response to the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout.
As of February 16, 2021, the City has distributed $3.3 million to support programs and non-profits serving the most vulnerable, including the homeless, elderly, and food insecure. The City of Las Cruces COVID-19 Response Report Together We Can details how the money was used and includes testimonials and pictures of community members who were able to get some relief.
"We wanted to create a tool for the community to understand how diverse the City's response has been,” explained Las Cruces City Manager Ifo Pili. "We have been able to help community members with mortgages, rent, utility bills, food, masks, but also small businesses," he added.
"We still have work to do, but we are committed to investing resources and time into building back stronger," Pili said.
The City Council also allocated $500,000 to offer front-line City workers hazard pay for continuing to serve the public during the pandemic. The funds allotted by City Council come from the Telshor Fund, a reserve fund made up of the City's share of lease payments made by Memorial Medical Center that the City and County jointly own. The rest comes from the City's general fund for the Economic Development Department.
The 30-page report is divided into six sections, including one about the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan in New Mexico. Currently, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) is leading the planning and implementation in collaboration with other state agencies and public, private, and tribal partners throughout the state.
The section also talks about the task force that the City created to promote shots in arms and address vaccine hesitancy. Recently the City launched the bilingual campaign Sleeve Up Las Cruces or Súbete la Manga Cruces with that purpose.
The campaign includes registration events at several local stores and at the Las Cruces Farmer's and Crafts Market, where city staff and volunteers assist community members with the registration process at the NMDOH website vaccinenm.org.
"The report also includes the dates, times and locations of our vaccine registration events, as we understand some our community members find the registration process complicated," said Jamey Rickman, Community Engagement manager.
The report, developed by the Community Engagement Office in coordination with City departments, also features a section about the Small Business Continuity Grant Program launched by the Economic Development Department that provided up to $20,000 one-time grants to small business and non-profits. The program distributed $5.4 Million to 504 local non-profits and small businesses and another section about Las Cruces Safe Promise.
The report is available at the City’s website at https://www.las-cruces.org/2450/COVID-19-Response-Report or you can access the report directly by clicking the link below https://www.las-cruces.org/DocumentCenter/View/6845/COVID-19-Report_Together-We-Can. Or go to the City’s website at www.las-cruces.org and go to the City Manager’s page and click on the report for details.
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