More services and beds will be available at the Gateway Center this month

[anvplayer video=”5187568″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Gateway Center is finally about to start fulfilling its long-delayed mission. City officials announced Thursday that the Housing Navigation Center and Engagement Center are coming online starting next week.

The Engagement Center is expected to provide wrap-around services on site for clients. The Housing Navigation Center brings 100 overnight beds, but the Gateway Center is still only housing about 30 women. City leaders say that will change soon.

“We’ll see, like, it depends on the needs and so forth,” Mayor Tim Keller said. “So, we’re going to start with 50 women here, but that may change.”

Keller said he expects men to be using the facility by the fall, as more parts of the Gateway Center come online.

Neighbors have raised concerns about the early effectiveness of the Gateway Center. Carol Pierce, the director of the city’s Family and Community Services department, said that until recently, there has not been a specific program in place to get them into permanent housing.

Pierce said the Gateway Center is designed for people to live there for 90 days. She said that is the optimal amount of time to get people grounded and then into housing. She said they are only 30 days into their first 90-day program.

“Over time we have all the confidence it will be just like our Family Housing Navigation Center and other models in town,” Pierce said.

Their goal is to have a 50% housing rate for the people that come through the Gateway Center.

“We are filling critical gaps in our community in this system of care,” Pierce said.