Feds look into homelessness in Albuquerque

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Homelessness is an issue nationwide, but members of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness know the root causes and potential solutions look different in each community.

That’s why they’re spending a few days in New Mexico.

Federal officials met with nearly a dozen community providers and homeless service groups at the Gateway Center Thursday to discuss everything from gaps in services to racial inequities among unhoused people.

The council’s executive director said there were extensive conversations about barriers to housing, including a lack of available units but also the general hurdles of getting homeless people off the streets.

“We know that people exit homelessness every day, but it’s through Herculean efforts of their own and of the providers that are serving them,” Jeff Olivet said, USICH executive director. “Our commitment to this group is that we’re going to take back what we heard around those barriers back into our discussions in Washington, D.C. to figure out what the federal government can do to ease some of that, some of the bureaucracy, and some of the barriers that get in the way of helping people exit from homelessness.”

The group did not share many specifics about the discussion Thursday, but they did mention several times that solving homelessness in the Albuquerque metro needs to be a group effort. They suggested that landlords should be part of future discussions.

Despite taking place at the long-awaited Gateway Center, there were no major updates about the facility Thursday. City officials told KOB 4 they’re expecting it to be up and running sometime in July.