ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque continues to hammer out details for the Gateway Center which will function as an overnight shelter at the former Gibson Medical Center. City officials say the Center will open its capacity in phases.
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In the first phase, 50 beds will be open to women only. Elizabeth Holguin is the city’s Deputy Director for Homeless Solutions. She explains, “We found that the proportion of beds available in the city is slightly higher for homeless men than women. It’s about 1.7 compared to 1.2 if you look at that ratio.”
After the first phase, the Gateway Center’s goal is to eventually serve 100 individuals as well as 25 families. But there’s no word right now on how many phases that will take. Holguin says the center will be committed to social justice, equity and inclusion – and the facility will have wrap-around services for people seeking help. “It will be in conjunction with our Gibson Health Hub that will house a medical respite unit as well as a sobering unit. We’ll be able to have a first responder drop off.”
Leaders with the center say they are looking at possibly incorporating a pharmacy and urgent care clinic as well. They are hopeful that providing a safe space to use sobering services as well as the shelter will help contribute to the safety of the area.
The Gateway Center is expected to open at the end of 2022. The city is still looking to hire an administrator to run the shelter as well as services to contract with the city for the clinical side of things.