If you missed last week’s Community Legal Resource Fair hosted by Belen Magistrate Court, I have good news — those resources are still available to you today.
Perhaps one of the most frustrating part of being a judge is witnessing people struggle, in need of help but not knowing where to go for that help. There are so many resources only a click away on a computer or a phone call away, but they might as well be a million miles away if you do not know about them.
In April, Judge Tina Garcia and I attended a crime victims’ conference hosted by the New Mexico Crime Victim Reparation Commission. Some of the resources we knew about but we also learned about new ones. I would like to share some of these with you today.
Crime Victim Resources: Did you know that there is financial assistance available to victims of crime? The New Mexico Crime Victim Reparation Commission has a website with information about applying for financial assistance for counseling, medical treatment and even loss of wages.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can reach out to Valencia Shelter Services, which assists individuals seeking immediate support in accessing shelter and other resources.
Legal Resources: Did you know there are multiple places to get free legal assistance? To name a few: The mission of NM Legal Aid is to provide legal representation to eligible individuals and families. The Senior Citizens’ Law Office has a mission to provide legal representation to residents 60 years of age and older.
Pegasus Legal Services for Children provides legal services to children and youth in dire situations.
Here in Valencia County, the 13th District Court, on Morris Road, hosts a monthly Legal Aid Clinic. The next clinic is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday, June 12, and beginning in July, it will be held on the second Thursday of each month.
Lastly, the State Bar of New Mexico has an in-depth legal resource guide on their website under the “For Public” tab.
Substance Abuse Counseling and Treatment: We are very fortunate to have the Valencia County DWI Program. Located in Los Lunas, the program provides substance abuse treatment as well as auricular detoxification free of charge.
Web-based Information: The saying goes, “Information is Power,” empower yourself with access to information. VINELink allows you to register for notifications when someone is released from custody and the victim notification network has a mobile phone app.
If you want to know the status of a pending case, you can go to New Mexico Courts Case Look-up.
Everything under the sun: An excellent resource put together by the Valencia County Community Wellness Council is a web-based Community Resource Guide. From personal experience, I can tell you that it is updated monthly. A statewide version of similar resources is provided by SHARE New Mexico
Employment Resources: This may seem like an odd fit to a column about legal resources but in court I often find that defendants are out of work.
I refer them to state resources with offices in Valencia County: New Mexico Workforce Solutions and the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
NM Workforce Solutions has local offices that assist with job search, referrals and placement as well as skill development like interviewing and resume writing.
The NM Division of Vocational Rehabilitation assists New Mexicans with disabilities to find suitable work and live in their communities.
Although this may seem like an extensive list, it really is the tip of the iceberg. There are many other resources available to members of our community. We all need help from time to time. When that time comes for you — ask for help. These agencies and organization exist for that purpose.
N.M. Crime Victims Reparation Commission: cvrc.state.nm.us; 1-800-306-6262
Valencia Shelter Services: valenciashelterservices.org; 505-864-1383
NM Legal Aid: newmexicolegalaid.org; 1-833-545-4357
Senior Citizen Law Office: sclonm.org; 505-265-2300
Pegasus Legal Services for Children: pegasuslaw.org; 505-244-1101
State Bar of New Mexico: nmbar.org
Substance Abuse Counseling and Treatment
Valencia County DWI Program: loslunasnm.gov/386; 505-352-7611, 505-352-7610
Vine Link: vinelink.com
NM Courts Case Look-up: caselookup.nmcourts.gov
Community Wellness Council: communitywellnesscouncil.org
SHARE New Mexico: sharenm.org/nm-resources
NM Division of Vocational Rehabilitation: dvr.state.nm.us; 505- 864-1617
NM Workforce Solutions: jobs.state.nm.us; 505-212-9115