Albuquerque pools resources into community hub for fire evacuees

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – More than a thousand evacuees from fires all over New Mexico are in Albuquerque.

The city has pooled as many local and federal resources as possible – food, hygiene products, Wi-Fi and computer access, even medical care – and put them all in one place.

KOB 4 went to the John Marshall Health and Social Services Center off I-25 and Avenida Cesar Chavez. The community hub is being used to help connect more than 1,500 New Mexicans and their families with whatever they need, to get through these fires.

Felonis Hernandez was evacuated from her home in Mora County a month ago.

“I don’t know when I’m going to go home. I thought that I was only going to be out of my house for about a day or two, so I didn’t think of bringing a lot of stuff,”

Fortunately, she’s been able to find everything she needs at the John Marshall Health And Social Services Center in southeast Albuquerque.

“We have babies from one month old to older folks up to 90 years old, so any supplies that they need, we have it here, but if there’s anything that they don’t have in stock, we will find it and will take it to them,” said Erica Gutierrez supervisor with Albuquerque Community Safety.

Everything from toilet paper, diapers and COVID-19 tests, to shampoo, conditioner and laundry detergent. The city also partnered with six local hotels where evacuees can stay as long as they need to. 

“Anybody who is disabled, they are able to get transportation from the Sun Van. We’re picking them up from the hotel, bringing them here,” said Gutierrez. 

Then taking them back once they have everything they need. If an evacuee is sick and can’t get their own supplies, a community safety rep will go to them.

An entire team of volunteers from all over the country, working to connect evacuees with the federal resources available to them.

“So they’re here to assist the evacuees with the application process and any questions that they have,” Gutierrez said. 

The community hub also provides mental health support and medical assistance.

“There is a nurse, an EMT paramedic here on site,” said Gutierrez.

And they’ll help transfer any necessary prescriptions.

The resource center is providing aid and some stability for New Mexicans who have lost so much to these wildfires.

If you are an evacuee and need supplies or a place to stay, the city asks that you call 505-244-8604 before going to a city facility. 

If you want to help, the city is accepting donations, you can drop them off at the John Marshall Health and Social Services Center Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.