Much has happened since the summer of 2014 when the Ruidoso News published a letter to the editor and reported on the plight of homeless students in Lincoln County. The High Mountain Youth Project of Lincoln County, New Mexico, has incorporated and is now a non-profit charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Here are a few of the past activities of the High Mountain Youth Project:
- A “Homeless Students Task Force” started meeting in April 2014. Members of the faith community, school personnel, representatives from health and social service agencies, philanthropists, ENMU-Ruidoso, and other concerned folk identified unmet needs of homeless students, with a starting point of helping the high school homeless population.
- Members of the Task Force spent the summer of 2014 advocating for the homeless students by writing newspaper articles, talking to their neighbors and friends, talking on local radio shows, and speaking at Village Council meetings and group meetings including Rotary Club and the Lincoln County and Mescalero Ministerial Alliance.
- In October, the Task Force officially organized as “The High Mountain Youth Project of Lincoln County, New Mexico”, with a vision statement, mission statement, goals, officers, a board of directors, and committees for site procurement, fundraising, finance, publicity, and a Community Advisory Committee.
- In the fall of 2017, HMYP leased and began renovations of a commercial office space for the future Evening Drop-in Center at #14 Jira Plaza in Ruidoso.
- On February 8, 2018, Ruidoso Mayor Tom Battin presented HMYP with a Business License.
- On February 12, 2018, the Evening Drop-in Center welcomed its first students. To date, over 200 students have “dropped in” one or more times since that first evening.
- On July 2, 2020, HMYP purchased its permanent home at 637 Sudderth Drive in Ruidoso. The property has two buildings on it in need of renovations to better accommodate the Evening Drop-in and Study Center and the future 24-hour youth crisis shelter.
- The Evening Drop-in and Study Center moved to the Sudderth Property in November 2020.
- After a year of planning, engaging architects and contractors, and working with the Village of Ruidoso, HMYP received a permit to begin renovations on the “log house” which will continue to house the Evening Drop-in and Study Center and day activities of the future Youth Crisis Shelter.
- Renovations on the log house began August 24, 2021.
- Plans have also been drawn up for the “barracks” where students will receive overnight care. Pending approval from Children, Youth and Families Department, these plans will go to an architect and then HMYP will be engaging an architect and contractor for that renovation.
- A Capital Campaign has been launched to pay for the renovations. Thanks to generous donors like you, we have enough funds to renovate the log house, but we need funds to renovate the barracks as well.
To donate, please click “Donate Today” on our home page or you may send a check to:
High Mountain Youth Project
PO Box 2646
Ruidoso, NM 88355