Gateway Center opens under emergency capacity

[anvplayer video=”5156630″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – City leaders say the Gateway Center will not be in action until the spring, but the building will be open to homeless people beginning Tuesday night.  

The city says it’s opening the Gateway Center just for emergency beds to get people out of the cold.

“We are a compassionate city, we are not going to, you know, let anyone freeze,” said Katie Simon, a public affairs specialist for the CABQ’s Family and Community Services.

The Gateway Center will only be open for 50 people per night. 

“Our street outreach partners will be identifying good candidates and referring them, and we will have bus transportation in and out of the Gibson Health Hub in the morning, folks will not be allowed to be there during the day,” said Simon. 

The city says other shelters still have space, but it was important to have another location for people to get out of the winter weather.

Nearby neighborhoods are not happy with what they feel is a premature opening. 

“They put them up for the night and then release them in the morning. And the whole purpose of Gateway is that it would be a referral system and where, you know, people are referred in, they’re engaging in the programs and services on site, and, you know, would have freedom to come and go as they please,” said Melinda Frame, chair of the Homelessness Solutions Committee for the Parkland Hills Neighborhood Association. 

City officials say they will be strict with who they accept. Buses will be available to and from the center since people won’t be allowed to stay during the day. 

“We did let the neighborhoods know that we were intending to open up these emergency beds at our first meeting. So you know, no one should have been completely blindsided there,” Simon said. 

“We’re just going to continue to attend those meetings. We’re going to continue to advocate for our neighborhoods. I mean, we’ve been saying we need more street outreach in our communities. I definitely think we need to have more street outreach,” said Frame. 

The city says this emergency shelter is expected to stay open until the full opening sometime this spring.