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Almas de Amistad A teaching and therapeutic community for women dedicated to promoting good health: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Almas de Amistad is designed to increase women’s level of awareness of their own emotional, mental and physical needs. This project is designed to educate women on HIV/AIDS prevention information and to enlighten them with an awareness of high risk behaviors. Funding is provided through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT/SAMHSA). It is a community based project providing a free resource for women in Bernalillo County.

Almas de Amistad is much more than a place for women to receive education about their high-risk behaviors. Through the services we provide we help build positive friendships between women. Our goal is to help women build foundations for strong friendships with one another and to be able to carry on those friendships outside for Almas de Amistad by: encouraging women to learn to hold one another accountable for their behaviors and helping each other to stay clean and sober. We teach women to replace negative friendships with positive ones and in turn these become their long term support system.

Cleaning up one’s life goes far beyond quitting the use of drugs and alcohol. It entails learning how to behave and function in today’s society, becoming a responsible, reliable adult with the ability to maintain employment, pay bills, care for children or other family members and most of all caring for one self in a positive manner. It is important for family members to take an active role in their loved one’s journey to clean up their lives.

Services provided by Almas de Amistad

  • Free substance abuse counseling
  • Curriculum specialized for women
  • Therapeutic groups
  • HIV/AIDS prevention and education
  • Support through NMAS ( New Mexico Aids Services)
  • Assistance in employment and job skill training
  • Assistance in locating housing
  • GED training available on site
  • Emergency food assistance
  • Parenting classes
  • Seminars/Workshops
  • Individual counseling
  • Referrals for assistance, as needed

Amity has a long standing relationship and positive impact on the political climate here in New Mexico. Our networking throughout the state has benefited many families. Almas De Amistad, since it’s opening in 2002 has had a significant impact in Bernalillo County as our site is located in Albuquerque. The services that are offered through Almas are respected and appreciated and most important utilized by our sister agencies such as Judges in the local courts, CYFD/CPS, Workforce Connection and Probation/Parole just to name a few. Almas is a member of the local Hispano Chamber of Commerce as well as the Governor’s recent Collaborative initiative. Our faculty continue to do outreach in the jails and street outreach in collaboration with other service providers specifically Veteran’s Administration, St. Martins, Health Care for the Homeless, First Nations, Homeless Advocacy Coalition. The New Mexico Aids Service and health department provide STD classes and monthly confidential testing.

Amity also partners with other agencies providing similar services to the families in Albuquerque such as Child of all Nations Agency, Catholic Charities, Susan’s Legacy and VDP in order to assure that the families we are working with know that we will be a team to help them obtain a sense of well -being. Our involvement here in the Bernalillo County continues to expand as we continue in our commitment and dedication to the women in New Mexico.

Success Story

My name is Dianna Carver, I’m from Oakland Ca. I had a ten year crack addiction. I went to Delancey Street and did my program for three years, which were at moments was the hardest times in my life. I am a graduate of Delancey Street! I learned to be accountable for my actions, I learned how to set boundaries and not allow any one to cross them! I learned that I am a good person, and to believe in my- self. I am a woman of integrity!! After graduating I got a job as a detention office in Espanola NM. I soon became a supervisor. After two years we moved to Albuquerque. I got a job as a counselor with Almas de Amistad. I worked hard and obtained my Counseling License. I facilitate group counseling, 1 on 1 sessions, workshops and more. I go to the jails in Bernalillo County and do outreach, informing the women that we are here, and the services we offer to help them changer their lives. I also go to advocate for women in court and those that are involved with CYFD. I educate the judges that prison is not the answer to this drug problem, that long term treatment is needed. They usually agree.

My most memorable time at Almas:

Christmas 2004 at Almas de Amistad

During Christmas,
Staff, walked-in and called different businesses down town, asking if they can donate or adopt a family here. The turn out was excellent! There were so many toys, clothes, CD, bikes etc. for ages 0 months – 17 yrs (boys girls) which the students took home to put under their tree for their children. There were so many gifts for each family! (Staff wrapped the gifts) We all make pies, cookies, and cooked turkey, dressing, the works. We had a big dinner! Then Santa Claus passed out more gifts. This is my favorite time here! Seeing the joy and the excitement on our student’s faces when we presented the gifts for their kids.

From a Graduate

I am a graduate of La Entrada de Amistad. Upon my release of incarceration after serving a ten year sentence I paroled to La Entrada in Los Lunas , New Mexico. While I was there the staff and my peers demonstrated to me that no matter what I had done or who I had become, I was worth saving. Today I have reunited with three of my four children. I’m living an honest, successful life, clean and sober. I now work for Almas de Amistad. What I hope to bring to Almas and the woman that are transitioning out of La Entrada to Bernalillo is the same love, honesty and truth that was demonstrated to me.

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