City council to consider bed bug resistant beds for Westside Shelter

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – New money has been allotted to replace the beds at the Westside Emergency Housing Center. The city hopes the clean beds will help bring people in off the streets.  

“The city council has really been challenging the mayor to do more to create more housing for homeless and folks that are in transition,” said City Council President Pat Davis.  

On Monday night, city council will consider a new resolution to help the Westside homeless shelter. The resolution provides money for heavy-duty bed bug resistant beds for the shelter. 

KOB 4 shared the bed bug problems at the Westside shelter with you before.

Davis says after talking with users of the shelter, the city found bed bugs are one big deterrent keeping people away. 

“The Westside Housing Center has more than 300 beds open most nights and many more than that in the wintertime. But things that we’ve heard as we’re talking and going through our partners is, a lot of folks don’t want to use that facility for lots of reasons. Including that it’s not always the cleanest,” Davis said. 

A city rep says the total cost will be close to $350,000 for 490 bed sets, including a bed frame, mattress and pillow. The city also says it’s buying 490 storage containers for guests to keep their belongs. 

The city says the money comes from the county that’s been appropriated for infrastructure improvements. 

Davis says he and most of the council feel the cost is worth it. 

“If we buy a cheap bed, it doesn’t do any good if nobody sleeps in it. If we have to spend a few more dollars to be sure we’re solving that problem, and getting more people into shelters so that they have a route to services. It’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned,” said Davis. 

The rollout of the new beds and mattresses will start once they’re shipped in and assembled. 

Davis says it’s not a complete solution, but it’s a really great start in the right direction. 

“We’re going to try them out, see if they work. If they do, I’d love to see them spread more often around other facilities and other shelters in the private sector as well,” said Davis.