Bernalillo County commissioners hope to provide support for unhoused families

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BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. – In a unanimous vote, Bernalillo County commissioners approved two financial resolutions to help families experiencing homelessness.

As Albuquerque continues to address homelessness in the city, the county is working to provide more support, too.

“We really value the work that is being done and the opportunity as a county to assist the City of Albuquerque with the homeless population, and try and change the lives of those that come through our doors at our wellness hotel,”  said Greg Perez, deputy county manager of the Bernalillo County Public Safety.

County commissioners approved two financial resolutions for those experiencing homelessness.

One of those will extend the county’s winter wellness hotel for six months.

“Bernalillo County has taken on the initiative which started out as a way to get individuals in during the cold months of the street, and it kicked off during COVID as a gesture to aid the City of Albuquerque who was already running two wellness hotels,” said Perez.  

The county will get more than $700,000 to keep the shelter hotel open.

“We are looking to maintain 21 families in our hotel and once we get each of those out successfully into housing,” Perez said.  

“It’s them getting a break from having to search for a place to stay. They have a stable place to stay, and now they can focus on getting their kids to school, getting their car fixed, or getting a document that they need to be able to get housing. It’s really beneficial that they have their own place while they are in this process,” said Benton Chavez, program coordinator for the Bernalillo County Public Safety.

The second set of money will be for small behavioral health facilities, about $1 million.

Agencies operating on a $500,000 budget will be able to apply for additional funding to expand services. 

The money for both resolutions comes from the behavior health gross receipts tax.

The county says they are always looking for different ways to help unhoused people.