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Proposal to Limit Shelter Services at Gibson Health Hub Defeated in City Council 8-1

Allows collaborative planning process of Gateway Shelter and Gibson Health Hub to continue.

June 17, 2021

Tonight, a proposal that would limit the overnight shelter beds that the Gibson Health Hub could provide was voted down in City Council by a vote of 8-1. The defeated proposal would have amended to the Integrated Development Ordinance to prohibit shelters in the city from having more than 30 or 60 beds.

For years, Central New Mexico has struggled to provide adequate access to health and transitional housing services and emergency shelter. In 2019, voters approved a $14 million bond to create new shelter and support for the city’s unhoused population, allowing the City of Albuquerque to acquire the Gibson Medical Facility this year.

In the months since the acquisition, plans for the operations and services of a health hub at Gibson have been steadily developed through a collaborative process led by the Homelessness Coordinating Council (HCC), a council comprised of county and city officials and representatives from UNM. Extensive public input has been a cornerstone throughout the process. Through meetings, surveys, and focus groups, the community has and continues to shape solutions to address homelessness and housing insecurity.

“While so many of our neighbors struggle to find shelter and support, we should be focused on how we can provide compassionate care to those in need, not how quickly we should start turning people away. Right now, members of the public, service providers, and the Homeless Coordinating Council have been in close collaboration, shaping how Gibson Health Hub will expand its service to our community. We are glad that the Council voted 8-1 tonight to allow that process to continue,” said Family and Community Services Director Carol Pierce.

“Tonight, we affirmed that time is better spent advancing a collaborative Gateway plan than setting up barriers for the unhoused. With a vote of 8-1, we’re ready to move past this restrictive and unproductive proposal,” said Ava Montoya, a spokesperson for Mayor Keller’s office.