San Juan United Way collecting donations for area's senior, homeless residents

·3 min read

FARMINGTON — The United Way in San Juan County is working to provide extra support for vulnerable populations and nonprofits in the area during the holiday season.

The staff at the San Juan United Way have been collecting wish lists from area nonprofits and organizations to help provide essential supplies for the community, according to Deputy Director Jennifer Johnson.

They have also been working overtime to help keep area residents housed this winter by helping those facing evictions or preventing utilities from being shut off.

Johnson said the agency is collecting items requested from area senior centers for recipients of home delivered meals along with unhoused members of the community.

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San Juan United Way Executive Director Cathryn Abeyta finishes up paperwork on Nov. 24 at the agency office at 903 W. Apache St. in Farmington. The agency has been working to collect needed supplies for the winter season.
San Juan United Way Executive Director Cathryn Abeyta finishes up paperwork on Nov. 24 at the agency office at 903 W. Apache St. in Farmington. The agency has been working to collect needed supplies for the winter season.

There are two categories of items for area seniors and the homeless population.

Johnson described the first group as items that will be used to put together hygiene kits. Items including sanitizing wipes, shampoo, toothpaste, facial tissue like Kleenex, bleach and more will be included.

The agency will take any items that would be useful in a hygiene kit.

“What we can do above and beyond that, would be phenomenal,” Johnson said.

Executive Director Cathryn Abeyta told The Daily Times the agency is also seeking out items of dignity.

Those items including brand new socks, gloves, hats, warm clothes along with men’s and women’s underwear.

Other items area senior centers are requesting include coffee, pet treats, snacks, lotion, spools of sewing thread and face masks.

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Fun activity items like puzzles, along with word search, crossword and Sudoku books, are also being sought.

The agency has been collecting the wish lists from area organizations to host on their website for members of the community who are seeking to help others during the holiday season, Abeyta said.

Staff hope to have those wish lists up on the San Juan United Way website by the end of the month.

The agency is also looking for people in the community who can help repair laundry equipment for an area shelter, Johnson said. Those being housed at the shelter are unable to dry their clothing as the dryers are broken.

One shelter is seeking help to complete electric repairs at a house that could host five people, but it currently sits empty until the repairs can be completed and a new heater installed.

Utility and rental support for San Juan County residents

Abeyta and staff have been almost overwhelmed by the demand for rental and utility assistance as the United Way is working hard to keep people in their residences.

“United Way is kind of the last straw at preventing homelessness right now, for the poorest people in the community,” Abeyta said.

If someone in need reaches out to United Way, staff can help direct them to resources to pay for their utilities or tell them how to contact their utility provider to discuss financial hardship options for payment.

Abeyta also helps direct people to the New Mexico Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which helps households in financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic with rental and utility assistance .

The San Juan United Way can be reached at 505-326-1195. More information can be found at www.sjunitedway.org.

Joshua Kellogg covers breaking news for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at jkellogg@daily-times.com.

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This article originally appeared on Farmington Daily Times: United Way wish lists help seniors, homeless in San Juan County

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