ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In an effort to help address homelessness and offer services to Albuquerque’s unhoused, the city is hoping to complete key construction of the Gateway Center by late this winter. And the city wants to open up 100 beds for overnight use by July 2023.

Located in the former Gibson Medical Center, the Gateway Center has been under construction for months now. In November 2021, the city received zoning approval to make the location into an overnight shelter.

Now, the center is being used by groups such as the Albuquerque Community Safety Department, the Trauma Recovery Center, and the Violence Intervention Program. But the city says there’s more to come.

Earlier this month, Mayor Tim Keller acknowledged the building still needs some work before it can open its doors to overnight stays. But the city now says that by mid 2023, they expect to have 100 beds open.

“What we are doing at Gateway, in combination with our investments in affordable housing, are filling critical service gaps to impact homelessness in Albuquerque,” Family and Community Services Director Carol Pierce said in a press release. Those service gaps include 24/7 facilities, according to the city.

Currently, the city says the center — operating at 80% complete — serves about 300 people a day. By 2025, they expect that number to increase to 1,000 people a day.

At full capacity, the center would include overnight capacity for 200 individuals, 40 beds available for medical sobering, and a first responder drop-off area. The center will also have 40 beds for medical respite — patient-centered care intended to prevent avoidable emergency department visits.

The city also plans an “Engagement Center” to help individuals meet with case workers. The facility could also offer help such as haircuts and job training.

“We’ve had a critical need for these services for decades,” Mayor Keller said in a press release. “The first responder drop off, medical sobering, and medical respite will be brand-new services in the city.”