The Sangre de Cristo House is a transitional living program in Peña Blanca that assists women aged 18 to 25 with a range of needs including overcoming substance abuse and transitioning to life after incarceration. Operated by Española-based nonprofit, Interfaith Leap, the Sangre de Cristo House is one of the few centers in the nation that provides a home-oriented environment where children aged 5 and younger can accompany their mothers in the center. This family-focused atmosphere allows the women to develop their parenting skills while bonding and healing with their children.
One huge challenge for women post-incarceration is finding employment. Therefore, interfaith Leap is ambitiously renovating a previous convent building adjacent to the Sangre de Cristo House to create the Convento Commercial Kitchen and Restaurant. Not only will this provide a much needed restaurant and prepared foods in the area, it also will allow residents of the Sangre de Cristo House to develop job skills and experience as they recover.

Rev. Fr. Terry Brennan, who oversees both the Sangre de Cristo House and Convento Commercial Kitchen and Restaurant, takes a break from painting to provide a tour of a recently renovated dining room in the new restaurant. Photo Credit: Candy Carlson, Development Assistant.

NMCF is excited to help Interfaith Leap meet their required match for their NM Department of Tourism grant which makes the Convento Restaurant possible. NMCF’s grant was made possible by two of its funds: The Marlana and Bella Fund and the individual NMCF Staff Contribution Fund.

Rev. Fr. Terry Brennan is given a grant check (and photo) from NMCF staff members, Linda Milbourn and Vicki Everhart, from NMCF’s Marlana and Bella Fund, to meet a required match for the Convento Commercial Kitchen and Restaurant in Peña Blanca, NM. Photo Credit: Candy Carlson.

The restaurant and adjoining art gallery and studio will provide job training, a current entry on the women’s resumes, and financial resources. The restaurant will feature Pueblo-style cuisine, and the gallery will display Native art, as well as crafts and jewelry made by the women in the Center.