About Our Casa
Casa Milagro is a safe, trusting, and nurturing community for adults recovering from homelessness and debilitating mental illness. 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, and yards. The house 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.
Board President: Rebekah Brandon
Board Secretary: Liz Cervio
Board Treasurer: Rose Rodriguez
Emotional Support Animal
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.
Ericka Kidd, BS Edu.
I have had the privilege of serving individuals struggling with mental health issues, poverty and homelessness in Santa Fe since 2003. I came to Casa Milagro in 2016 looking for an environment that supported the whole individual, limiting social isolation and providing the presence of a “chosen” family. At Casa Milagro, we utilize intentional peer support, to create a community that depends on the strengths and support of its members. I believe in the value of our peer’s experience offering significant contributions in knowing how to deal with the mental health challenges. It is my responsibility to know the “pulse” of the house and make sure we have the resources and systems in place to support the needs of the community. I oversee our Care Coordination team, which provides assistance including: coaching in budgeting, medication/symptom education, coping skills training, disability and legal support, resource referral, coordination of care, accessing affordable housing, crisis resolution, interpersonal/conflict management and cheerleading.
Shannon Milligan, Care Coordinator
Working at Casa Milagro is very rewarding for many reasons, one being that it creates a culture of healing and family. I feel very privileged to work in a place where the staff is trauma-informed and uses strengths-based approaches. I earned a degree in Human Services from Alfred State University in Alfred, NY. I served 7 years working for the Sobering Center at Christus St. Vincent's, helping individuals experiencing homelessness, mental illness, and addiction crises. Throughout all of this, my desire to help make a positive difference in people's lives that has been solidified.
Akila Pervis, Care Coordinator
Chance, Emotional Support Animal
I have been coming to Casa Milagro since I was 4 weeks old. I was born in 2017 and I have had the good fortune of serving the residents at Casa, Monday-Friday. I wake up the residents and their dogs. I play fetch. I squeak my toys in harmony with our musicians. I clean up the kitchen floor. I inspire smiles. I also have a knack for giving out kisses to those that are really in need
and I will sit on, or nearby, individuals that clearly are needing a little snuggle/stress reduction.