GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – With colder weather expected soon, the only shelter in a west New Mexico city that’s hit hard with homelessness has run out of money and is facing closure. “My kids would be living out of a truck if it wasn’t for this place. As a mother, that means a lot,” said Alexis Lucero.
Lucero is just one of the many people who’ve been helped by the Lexington Hotel in Gallup over the last eight years. It’s a place where people who are facing homelessness can get back on their feet, but it’s at risk of shutting down.
Now operated by Heading Home, the hotel is out of money with only enough funds to stay open until September 30. The Lexington Hotel also helps people suffering from substance abuse. “We’ve been working on trying to find money that’s available to keep our doors open and that way, we don’t have to put more people on the streets,” said Ken Collins, board member of Heading Home.
With cold weather coming soon, organizers and city leaders are worried dozens of vulnerable people in Gallup soon won’t have a place to go. “Shelters like this out here has been a major asset to our community because a lot of people that come realize they have problems but they don’t know how to address them,” said Gallup Mayor, Louie Bonaguidi.
Thirty-one people live at the hotel right now with requirements they stay sober and get a job. “It’s not like a lot of shelters where they have 30 to 90 days, they’re here for an undetermined amount of time a lot of times because we are a small town, there’s waiting list for housing,” said Lexington Hotel Program Director, Willard Eastman.
Advocates for the hotel are trying to raise $150,000 to stay open through the end of the year. “I knew I could come back here and it was a safe place to come,” said hotel resident, Charmayne Daniels. “There’s security we all know who’s here, there’s not just random people walking in and out.”
The hotel previously used COVID-era CARES Act funding to operate. There is currently a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds.