ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – COVID-19 has forced everyone to adjust how they manage their daily lives. While most residents are fortunate enough to have a place that is safe to isolate if needed, some individuals don’t have a place to call home. City of Albuquerque Department of Family & Community Services Director Carol Pierce discusses what the city and its partners are doing to help those experiencing homelessness.
In addition to the Westside Emergency Housing Center, the city and its partners are also operating four hotels in the community during the pandemic. Pierce explains that two of the hotels are for individuals who are COVID-positive who need to be isolated while the other two hotels are referred to as “wellness hotels” which house individuals who are older that have chronic health conditions and are more at-risk for COVID-19.
“I think the really important thing about these wellness hotels is keeping the density out of the westside lower so we can keep that population as healthy as possible, but also this is the pathway to housing,” said Pierce. “The ultimate solution for people without homes is to provide them a good fit for housing that meets their needs, and that’s what the next step is after these wellness hotels is housing.”
Pierce says that the Homeless Coordinating Council has been safely meeting every two weeks since August and that five committees are also identifying high-impact activities like Gateway Shelters and emergency centers surrounded by services. There is a survey residents can take regarding the framework coming out of the Homeless Coordinating Council to identify needs related to their core focus areas.
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