Our small focused program seeks to do one thing well:

To help vulnerable women escape from the cycle of poverty and achieve stable self-supporting lives

The program is free to qualified women 6 hours per day, 4 days per week for 50 weeks.

Who we serve

  • All are low-income women
  • Many are trauma survivors, immigrants, and/or recently incarcerated
  • >90% have high school education or less
  • >50% were homeless when entering the program
  • Most are head of household and/or have dependent children
  • 30% are senior citizens
  • >70% from ethnic minority groups


Our sewing curriculum gives women a sense of accomplishment while learning marketable skills. Skills learned in sewing classes are transferable to other jobs and situations, making our students employable across the job market. Sewing allows caregivers to adapt their work schedules to accommodate family needs while continuing to help support themselves and their family.

In addition to sewing skills, students learn to follow directions, take projects from beginning to end, design their own projects, think and create independently.

Students also learn basic financial skills, and basic employment etiquette, such as on-time arrivals, calling when late, scheduling time off with supervisor’s approval.

In 2017 we added culinary arts, adult home health care and Community Health Worker certificates to our program.

While at TenderLove, our client students receive: a safe shelter during the day, warm lunches, transportation, referrals to wrap around services and coordination with caseworkers.

Additionally, students can sell items they’ve made and earn money doing alterations, repairs and other tasks.

All of these empower women to move from unemployable to employable. After the first year, we continue to work with our students to insure they have all the tools they need to retain employment or start their own micro-business


Over 40 women come through our doors each year; of these about 1/4 stay to complete the one-year program.

Four classes have graduated; a total of 40 women

  • At least 97% of graduates are currently in stable housing
  • At least 88% of graduates are now self-supporting- employed or in school
  • 2015 “Innovative Idea ofthe Year” award from NM Coalition to End Homelessness
  • 2015 “Chispa” (Shining Light) award from NM Community Foundation
  • 32% of budget supported by private foundations

As of 2018, we will be offering certificates of completion to adapt to individual needs of our women.