The COVID-19 pandemic threatened to push Solace Crisis Treatment Center in Santa Fe into a financial crisis requiring a cutback in staff and services.
But a $185,000 federal stimulus loan came through last month and will help carry the center through June, ensuring its services for victims of sexual violence and other types of trauma remain available during this difficult time, Solace Executive Director María José Rodríguez Cádiz said.
Without the aid, a forgivable loan through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, Rodríguez Cádiz would’ve had to make some tough decisions.
“More likely than not, I would’ve had to create a plan of reducing the staff accordingly,” she said.
The center offers both clinical therapy and assistance, guiding trauma survivors through the legal system and social services.
The federal loan will cover paychecks for 21 Solace staff and about 25 percent of certain overhead costs. If recipients of the aid meet certain requirements, such as keeping workers on staff, they do not have to repay the money.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit New Mexico, the treatment center’s revenues fell dramatically as fundraising-related events were canceled, and costs increased as the organization installed new technology so workers could counsel clients remotely, Rodríguez Cádiz said.
Some clients initially balked at remote counseling sessions, preferring in-person connections, Rodríguez Cádiz said, but most have since embraced the platform.
“We didn’t have a [financial] cushion or any kind of safety net — much less for two or three months,” she said.
The center does about 3,300 counseling sessions a year. It offers clinical therapy to about 600 clients and advocacy for 900 clients, Rodríguez Cádiz said.
She praised Enterprise Bank and Trust, a local lender, for granting a loan in about 10 days.
Now the center can continue full strength with its mission, Rodríguez Cádiz said.
“Our work is critical to the communities that we serve, especially during this time of the pandemic affecting mental and emotional health,” she said.