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2021–2022 Lived Experience Report Shapes Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub

We asked people experiencing homelessness in Albuquerque to share their ideas on how best a new shelter could meet their needs. Partnering with local organizations, we gathered these ideas to help shape the Gateway Center we're building at the Gibson Health Hub. This 2021–2022 Lived Experience Report is now available for everyone to read.

May 9, 2022: The Department of Family & Community Services (FCS), in partnership with Casa Q, The Compassion Services Center, First Nations, and the Transgender Resource Center of NM, has gathered feedback from community members to help guide the ongoing development of the Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub. These community members provided feedback based on personal experience surviving homelessness, addiction, trauma, and other hardship.

“We now have direct insight into who exactly our unhoused neighbors are and what they are looking for in this type of supportive living environment,” said FCS Operations Manager Doug Chaplin. “Providing a safe place to reside—and treating people with dignity—will help establish the foundation folks need to be successful in their journey toward permanent housing.”

The study and input sessions lasted from October to December of 2021. The organizations provided space for FCS to conduct interview sessions and helped recruit participants for them. The information will be used so that appropriate design principles can be incorporated into building plans as the Gateway Center expands.

“We chose these organizations because they have specific populations that are overrepresented in the homeless population,” said Gateway Administrator Cristina Parajon. “We want our guests to feel safe and comfortable in the spaces we design and build, so who better to ask than people with the lived experiences themselves?”

“The input gained from this report has allowed us to craft the guest experience to be above and beyond what you might normally see for these kinds of projects,” said FCS Deputy Director of Homelessness and Clinical Advisor Elizabeth Holguin. “Our design will incorporate cultural and religious elements as well, creating a welcoming environment for healing and recovery.”

The feedback was compiled into the 2021–2022 Lived Experience Report, which can be viewed by clicking here or by going to https://www.cabq.gov/family/documents/2021-lived-experience-report_gateway-center.pdf/view.