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City and Compassion Services Center Team Up to Enhance Resources for Unhoused Population

Partnership has expanded over past year, providing additional shelter, and now, access to hot, private showers.

March 1, 2022

Today, Mayor Keller, City Councilor Pat Davis and City of Albuquerque leaders, and Pastor Joanne Landry of the Compassion Services Center came together to celebrate the enhancement of services at the center. Single-stall, portable showers are now available for unhoused neighbors in the International District, part of a community effort to provide more services at the center.

Compassion Center Showers

“The City and our partners are always working to expand the shelter and services Albuquerque needs. It’s important that we look at all the ways we can make a positive impact in folks’ lives and help them get to a better place – from more beds on the coldest nights, to hot showers year-round,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Most of us take things like a hot shower for granted, but it’s no small thing. It’s about dignity, the ability to keep up personal hygiene, and start the day restored. It can be the difference between getting and even keeping a job.”

The showers are just the latest development in partnership at the shelter. Multiple City departments and community partners have been collaborating to increase services at the Compassions Services Center. The City’s Family & Community Services Department partnered with the Compassion Services Center in January 2021 to provide funding for the center’s day shelter. The contract received additional funding in December 2021 to help the center provide overnight emergency shelter for up to 30 people a night for the winter months. The Department of Solid Waste and Office of Emergency Management funded and installed the new showers. In addition, the center is working with United Way to provide a tent for a safe outdoor space, which the City’s planning Department and Fire Marshal are working together to waive permits and ensure safety of occupants in that tent.

“They’re beautiful—the water comes out beautifully,” said Pastor Joanne Landry, Director of the Compassion Services Center and lead pastor of the Interfaith Bible Center. “These showers are warm, safe, and have made a really big imprint on guests. It’s made us all so happy to be able to provide this service, just one more vital service the homeless need in this International District.”

“We are grateful for the partnership with the Compassion Services Center that provides much-needed services to people without homes in the International District,” said Deputy Director of Homeless Solutions and Clinical Advisor Elizabeth Holguin. “The Center is helping to meet the immediate needs for food, safety, and shelter for our unhoused neighbors while also providing connections to resources needed to exit homelessness.”

Purchased through funding from the COVID Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the portable showers were installed at the Compassion Services Center in partnership with the Solid Waste Department and the Family & Community Services Department. 

“Solid Waste helped deploy these showers to the Compassion Center because they saw a need and the City stepped up to help,” said Solid Waste Director Matthew Whelan. “The showers here are available for anyone experiencing homelessness in the area who needs a hot shower in a safe and private environment.”