How are people utilizing services at the Gateway Center?

How are people utilizing services at the Gateway Center?

The Gateway Center expanded operations a month ago but how are people utilizing their services?

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A month after the Gateway Center added more beds and opened its overnight winter emergency shelter, officials are seeing results.

“We’ve been almost at capacity every evening to really provide that safe place for both men and women that are unhoused,” said Carol Pierce, the director of the City of Albuquerque’s Health, Housing and Homeless Department.

There are 35 beds at the center for men to use as the temperatures cool down.

“People have a bed. They can have their pets. They get a hot evening meal. Then, they are being transferred out in the morning to be able to get a breakfast by one of our community partners,” Pierce said.

The center also works with 50 women at a time to get them on the path to housing. Soon, the department will have a similar program available for men.

As temperatures cool down, Pierce says they’ve noticed a greater need for this emergency housing.

“With these colder temperatures, we have been seeing our census out of the Westside Emergency Housing Center be fairly high. So we are making some arrangements out there to increase the capacity there. Then having backup facilities if we need to have overflow,” Pierce said.

The winter emergency shelter will be available until March. If you don’t need that housing but want to support the Gateway Center and other shelters, you can volunteer.

“We think when our unhoused neighbors come together with our housed neighbors, I think that too is a game changer and how we get to know each other as a community,” Pierce said.