Casa Milagro is a safe, trusting, and nurturing community for adults experiencing and recovering from mental illnesses. Each of our twelve residents has a private room in a large home with ample common spaces--living room, dining room, art room, “quiet” room, porches, yards. Casa Milagro is designed to balance privacy and community, giving and receiving companionship and support.
Our staff coordinates and supports residents in accessing medical and therapeutic support in the wider community. We simultaneously cultivate a therapeutic environment in house to support recovery at home. We listen and trust individuals in what they want and need to thrive, encouraging our residents as they establish and meet their own goals. Most importantly, we walk with them as they reach for those goals.
We are a 501c3, guided by HUD guidelines for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH). Residents can stay as long as they need, as long as they respect the program’s guidelines. We are proud that our housing is affordable and accessible to low income people. Casa Milagro is a member of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness (NMCEH) and shares in that coalition’s mission to end homelessness in New Mexico, by supporting our neighbors in need.
With equal parts compassion, vision, and gritty determination, Meryl Lieberman and Carol Luna Anderson founded Casa Milagro in 1995. Their goal: to provide a safe, supportive, reliable home to people experiencing a spectrum of serious mental illnesses.
Meryl says, “Casa Milagro was founded on an assumption that belonging and being a part of the bigger whole is the real healing force...We were very intentional in that regard.” Furthermore, Meryl adds that the presence of animal companions has been important since the beginning. People are invited to bring animals into their home, which generates joy and healing.
Extending beyond the home into the neighborhood, in the early days, Casa Milagro hosted a barbeque to increase positive visibility and to build relationships with neighbors. Their support sometimes manifested in offering small jobs to residents--helping with horses or babysitting, for example.
Then tragedy came. Casa Milagro hadn’t been up and running long when a fire ravaged the home, rendering it unlivable. Following the fire, Carol Luna Anderson urged HUD to help bring Casa Milagro back to life. Through HUD’s assistance, the “House of Miracles” came into being. Through the vicissitudes of life, people have come and gone, offering and receiving their own gifts. As they’ve continued on their paths, Casa Milagro has maintained a commitment to healing through the discovery of greater belonging.
left to right: Liz Cervio, Ellen Rosell, Michele Reich, Marta Townsend, Kermit Cole, Meryl Lieberman
Board President: Ellen Rosell, Ph.D.
Board Vice President: Marta Townsend
Board Secretary & Founder: Dr. Meryl Lieberman, Ph.D.
Liz Cervio, MS
Michele Reich, Ed.D.
Erica Westby, MA, LPCC
Desirée Bernard, Executive Director
Ashley Cde Baca, Program Manager
Ericka Kidd, Care Coordinator
Desirée Bernard, MDiv
Long passionate about mental health and healing through the lens of understanding social systems, I am grateful to have met Meryl Lieberman who brought me into contact with Casa Milagro in 2017.
My B.A. is in Psychology and Religion and my graduate studies took place at Harvard Divinity School where I earned a M.Div. while pursuing work in mental health recovery communities, chaplaincy, faith-based outreach to people in poverty, and trauma-informed theology. I believe in the healing power of community and am committed to fostering interpersonal connection in ways that bring out the innate wholeness and knowing which resides within each individual.
Ashley Cde Baca, MSW
I was born and raised in New Mexico and graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with a masters degree in Clinical Social Work. The majority of my experience in the mental health field has been with group homes and residential treatment facilities beginning in 2008. I came to Casa Milagro as a student completing a practicum and fell in love with the community and its goal of creating a nonjudgmental environment that challenges society’s bias against mental illness. My goal as Program Manager is to assist in maintaining a program that promotes hope, safety, understanding, support, structure and healthy living habits for our residents. I also provide coordination of care to assure that residents are receiving the best treatment possible. Through our volunteer/internship program I have the honor of offering the same opportunity that I was given by Casa Milagro to other volunteers and students working toward degrees in mental health.
Ericka Kidd, BS Edu.
I’ve been working in the mental health field providing case management services since 2003. I have had the privilege of serving individuals struggling with a mental illness, poverty and homelessness at the Santa Fe Community Guidance Center, The Life Link and Casa Milagro. My Bachelors degree in Education helps me to approach my work as an educator, as opposed to “doing things for” people. As a professional problem solver, a.k.a., Caseworker, I challenge individuals to function as independently as possible while guiding them through the difficulties facing them. Assistance often includes, but never limited to, coaching in financial/budgeting, medication and symptom education, coping skills training, disability and legal support, resource referral, coordination of care, accessing affordable housing, crisis resolution, interpersonal/conflict management and cheerleader. My primary job however is to provide hope. At Casa Milagro much hope can be found.