The “Camp Hope Health Initiative” is a project of St Luke’s Health Clinic, a 501c-3 non-profit corporation.

In November 2011,  James Vonbehren and Matt Mercer, homeless community members, and Pamela Angell -former Executive Director MVCH, spoke to Las Cruces City Council to ask the Mayor and Council to address the increasing challenges the homeless are facing, especially during the winter. They unanimously voted to support working with the homeless to find a solution. With a long-term commitment to creating a permanent night shelter on or near the MVCH campus, city staff and management ultimately approved the camp being a project of MVCH until March 31st. Soon after that approval, James began to help other disabled members of our homeless community to procure electric wheelchairs like the one that he uses. James got two electric wheelchairs donated by The Ability Center for Independent Living, here in Las Cruces, and arranged to have batteries donated by the Heart for the World Vineyard Church and Las Cruces First Assembly Church.
This inspired several of the women that work in St Luke’s Clinic, like Anna Moreno- Case Manager at SLHCC, who have known James for years and have come to befriend him since he has been living on the Hope Campus. And this inspired Karla Morris and Candy Aguirre, who through their Bible study Group got Intern Pastor George Balderama- First Assembly Las Cruces, involved to start bringing hot meals for breakfast every other Saturday of the month, which will soon become an every Saturday event, to feed our 50 odd camp residents and even homeless passers by. They all decided we could do more, branching out into the greater Las Cruces community, to try to meet the health needs of the homeless here that aren’t able to get the services that they need and fill in the gaps, so to speak, by supporting and assisting with their basic health concerns. Through this continued interaction the inspiration continued to grow and blossomed into the “Camp Hope Heath Initiative”.
Thus the “Camp Hope Health Initiative” was conceived, working through St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic, and supported by Citizens Bank and Las Cruces First Assembly Church members, and initiated by the homeless with inter-agency board cooperation. This group now includes:
Co-chair Pamela Angell- St Luke’s Exec. Dir.
Co-chair James Vonbehren-Camp Hope Volunteer Manager
Co-chair Matt Mercer- Camp Hope Volunteer Manager
Vice chair Intern Pastor George Balderama- Las Cruces First Assembly
Treasurer Karla Morris- Citizens Bank & Las Cruces First Assembly
Secretary Candy Aguirre- First Assembly Las Cruces
Other members of this group include Anna Moreno, Sarah McCahon, Braden Tidwell, Mary Ann Digman , and Greg Franklin.
Our group’s mission: To address unmet health-related needs of homeless individuals.
Our group’s purpose and goals: To provide financial and any other assistance possible to homeless persons who can not afford to meet their basic health care needs through existing services. This may include co-pays for medical appointments and prescriptions, payments for prescriptions,transportation to medical appointments, and any other health related needs such as medical supplies, medical equipment(ie: walkers wheelchairs and equipment maintenance), nutritional supplements and over the counter medications.
Anyone interested in donating to the Camp Hope Health Initiative can contact:
Pamela Angell, Executive Director, St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic, 999 West Amador Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88005
phone:575-527-5482, fax:575-525-3542
or e-mail:
Even helping one person,
can sometimes make a world of difference to many people!

@ St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic

On the campus of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope 999 W. Amador Ave. Las Cruces NM 88005

(Behind Horse’n’Hound Feed Store and next to El Caldito Soup Kitchen)

Café Salud Mission: Building a stronger, healthier, community through prevention, education, social interaction and fun.

Purpose: An integrative approach to providing health and wellness information to people with low or no income, and the wider interested community, in a safe, enjoyable environment.

Who: St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic, Camp Hope Health Initiative, N.M. Dept. of Health, Disease Prevention Team, NMSU Dept. of Public Health Sciences, and more.

What: A Café environment serving up healthy snacks and drinks and local music, and health and wellness education and services twice per month.

When: Each first and third Tuesday of the month from 6-8 pm

Where: St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic on the campus of Mesilla Valley Community of Hope, 999 W. Amador Ave. (behind Horse’n’Hound Feed Store and next to El Caldito Soup Kitchen)

Why: People who are homeless or low-income often have little access to health and wellness education, prevention, testing and services, or a safe, enjoyable place to socialize. Café Salud can provide both.

How: Various individuals, organizations, agencies and businesses can provide information and services, including: food, drinks, volunteer service (set up, break down, event management, emcee-ing, and playing music).

CONTACT: St. Luke’s Health Care Clinic, Pamela L.  Angell, Executive Director

999 W Amador Ave., Las Cruces, NM 88005, 575-527-5482,


For more information, to volunteer or to provide services or perform (music, dancing, what not) please call 527-5482.


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