• Julie Cason

Circles ABQ "Goes Public"!


HELPNM Partners with New Poverty Reduction Non-Profit, Circles® ABQ

Albuquerque, NM, April 15, 2021: A program to help lift families out of poverty is launching in Albuquerque and getting some significant start-up help from HELP NEW MEXICO, INC. (HELPNM). The pilot program of Circles ABQ starts with 10 local families this spring.

Families chosen for the program take a 12-week course on life and financial skills. After that, participants are matched with community volunteers, who serve as allies and mentors. The teams then meet weekly, with dinner and childcare provided (once COVID protocols allow) for an 18-month program. The other 79 Circles communities in the US and Canada have been meeting virtually throughout the pandemic.

Circles USA founder and Albuquerque resident Scott Miller said the program has had good results: “If you’ve been with us for 24 months, your income has gone up, on average, $11,306, and your government assistance has, cumulatively, gone down $26,688.”

Annaliza Gourneau, Vice President of the Office of Strategy and Community Engagement for HELPNM, adds: “Circles ABQ is the most recent strategic partner that HELPNM has aligned with to further our mission of empowering families through education and employment. Lending a hand up for working families is what HELPNM has been doing for 56 years throughout the state.”

Circles ABQ is currently seeking volunteers and recruiting participants from families with children enrolled at Inez Elementary School, with the assistance of Rachelle Ford, Community School Coordinator, Children’s Choice.


HELPNM has collectively improved the lives of many New Mexicans for over 56 years.

Through 25 offices across the state and with more than 200 employees, HELPNM works diligently to change lives and improve the communities that the agency serves. They focus on six pillars of service that includes varied programming for Employment, Education and Cognitive Development, Income and Asset Building, Housing, Health and Social/Behavioral Development, Civic Engagement and Community Involvement. HELPNM provides a delivery strategy that produces high levels of integration.

Circles® ABQ, sponsored by the Albuquerque Center for Spiritual Living, is a new chapter of Circles® USA, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide opportunities that inspire and equip families and communities to resolve poverty and thrive. Circles ABQ’s vision is that everyone has enough money, meaning, and friends to thrive. For more information, contact Julie Cason (831) 915-0879.

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