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City Adds Medical Services, Case Management, Job Placement Services at Westside Shelter for First Time

Part of multipronged approach to address growing homelessness issues.

October 22, 2019

The City of Albuquerque expanded its coordinated, multi-faceted approach to homelessness, launching a partnership today to address some of prevalent underlying causes. For the first time, people experiencing homelessness will now be able to access medical care, addiction and behavioral health treatment, case management, and job placement services all on-site at the Westside Emergency Housing Center (WEHC).

“Homelessness in Albuquerque, and across the country, is growing and it will not get better without bold, innovative solutions,” saidMayor Tim Keller. “These partners are coming together to provide medical services, case management and job placement services at the Westside shelter. This is part of our multipronged approach that includes emergency shelter, pathways to permanent housing and all the services that are needed in between for addiction, medical care, and finding work. No one government agency or service provider can meet all of these needs alone but strong partnerships to implement proven models can make all the difference in people’s lives.”

At the WEHC, the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Presbyterian, and Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless are providing medical services two days a week. Case management services are provided by Centro Savila and funded by Bernalillo County, while job placement opportunities are provided through Workforce Connections in the newly renovated computer lab.

UNM President, Garnett S. Stokes said, “Reducing barriers to services is critical to addressing homelessness in Albuquerque. UNM is committed to being a part of how we, as a community, can facilitate access to those services and improve the quality and cultural competence of care, and positive social outcomes.”

Julie Morgas Baca, Bernalillo County Manager said, “…”

Emergency shelters with onsite services are part of the proven Housing First model. Creating pathways to obtain safe, transitional and permanent housing is also critical. This fiscal year, the City funded an additional $2 million dollars for housing vouchers, making an estimated 1000 housing vouchers available for people and families experiencing homelessness. The City also the launched the One Albuquerque Housing Fund last December so the public can donate directly to housing and has raised nearly $30,000 so far.

The G.O. Bond initiative on the ballot this fall would allocate $14 million to a 24/7, low-barrier homeless shelter to expand the community’s capacity to connect the homeless to the shelter and services they need to make the transition into permanent housing, following a model that has been widely adopted around the country.

The additional on-site services come after the City and County partnered to open the WEHC year-round—and 24 hours a day on the weekends. A free daily shuttle is available between the shelter, Coronado Park, Hope Works Day Shelter, and God’s Warehouse. The WEHC sees steady demand for its shelter services, receiving an average of about 300 people each night, even during the new summer hours.

See more about the City’s efforts to address homelessness here: https://www.cabq.gov/family/services/homeless-services