City seeks contractor for medical sobering services at Gateway Center

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The City of Albuquerque is now looking to hire a contractor for medical sobering services at the Gateway Center.

The city opened the request for proposals Friday, seeking a nonprofit or governmental organization to bid on offering medical sobering services.

Medical sobering services entail care and oversight to drunk or intoxicated people whose medical needs don’t require an emergency room visit.

Once open, the center will have 50 beds for these patients. Gateway will also become the first medical sobering services center in New Mexico and one of 40 in the U.S.

“It has taken a collaboration between the City, County, State, and community members to bring this vital intervention service to fruition. We look forward to selecting an operator and opening the doors first medical sobering center, and a critical harm reduction resource that our community needs,” said Gilbert Ramirez, the director of the city’s Health, Housing, and Homelessness Department. 

Patients can stay for up to 24 hours. While there, they get connected to longer-term substance use detox and treatment at the Bernalillo County CARE campus, the on-site Turquoise Lodge Hospital or with other providers in the Albuquerque area.

The city estimates the sobering center could see more than 17,000 patients annually. The hope is that the center will open once construction ends this fall.

“For years, our providers at Albuquerque Fire Rescue have discussed the critical need in our systems of care for a Medical Sobering Center,” Albuquerque Fire Chief Emily Jaramillo said. “We are hopeful about the announcement and this much-needed resource becoming a reality for not only AFR and EMS but also the patients and their families that we are serving in the community.”

Proposals are open until April 19. You can click here to view the Request for Proposals.