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City launches Lift Up Las Cruces program with neighborhood block party

LAS CRUCES – Tents and tables, buses and a fire truck lined Ash Avenue Saturday morning at the launch event for Lift Up Las Cruces, the city’s anti-poverty initiative.

Each booth featured a different city department, government agency, faith group, nonprofit or social services organization. All offered information about their services and resources and gave out swag to the attendees of the block party, which closed off Ash between Wade Street to Calle Sosa from 9 am to noon July 30. There were also games and activities for children.

Lift Up is a program seeking to reduce poverty and crime by targeting one specific area of ​​the city at a time. The block party was held in the first “footprint” chosen, bound by North Solano Drive, East Madrid Avenue, Anita Drive, North Triviz Drive and Spruce Avenue — all within the 88001 ZIP code. The area concurrently faces high poverty and crime. Nearly one in four Las Crucens live in poverty, according to census data.

Several organizations offer information on their programs during the Lift Up Las Cruces block party on Saturday, July 30, 2022.

The Lift Up boundaries are contained in City Council districts 1 and 3. District 1 is represented by Mayor Pro Tempore Kasandra Gandara. The councilor attended Saturday’s festivities and said the community seemed “jazzed.”

“The energy is here to improve our community,” Gandara said, who mentioned she lived nearby. “There’s been a lot of momentum about establishing neighborhood watch programs, neighborhood association programs, to that point of you see something, say something. We want a safe community. We want people to be able to walk safely, increase health … For me (the next steps are) continuing to partner with these nonprofits to bring programming in this area from mental health to food to housing, transportation (and) beautification.”

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