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ABQ City Council approves emergency Winter beds at Gibson Health Hub

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Gino Gutierrez
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KSFR News
50 Winter emergency beds will be available to both men and women starting on January 10th.

The first shelter occupants at the Gibson Health Hub are slated to be sleeping overnight at the old hospital by next week, after the Albuquerque City Council voted 6-3 to pass EC-22-212, which will approve a contact to operate shelter services for those experiencing homelessness, including funding for emergency winter beds, phase one of the Gateway Center opening and a 24/7 receiving area.

The emergency winter beds are set to become available for those in need starting on January 10th.

This date prompted some concern with Councilor Pat Davis in particular, who cited some possible anxiety nearby residents would have about occupants being moved into the shelter space so quickly.

“I’m not opposed to this, I think we need emergency shelters, I don’t think the Gibson is ready because we haven’t met our commitment. I do think it's important that we get all those pieces in place whether they are shelter folks or emergency shelter folks.”

The pieces Davis referred to were items in an agreement with neighborhoods in the area of the Gateway Center, which is located within the same campus at the Gibson Health Hub and will provide medical, behavioral health, and vocational services to unhoused individuals when it opens in the Spring.

Things like improved lighting along the street, shelter services and a security presence that could respond to off-campus issues.

The emergency winter beds would not have these services in place, but Family and Community Services Director Carol Pierce told the council the beds would only be available to individuals starting at 4:00, they will be picked up and bussed to the facility, they will be provided a bed, a meal and a TV.

Once the morning arrives, these individuals will be bussed out of the Gibson Medical Center to a location where they can find breakfast.

This is not a walk-up shelter according to Pierce.

These 50 emergency winter beds will be available for both men and women.

Gino Gutierrez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, Gino found interest in broadcasting after falling in love with sports and sports broadcasting. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he majored in mass media journalism. While at UNM, he worked the New Mexico Daily Lobo, serving as both sports and managing editor. He can also be heard providing play-by-play commentary for the NA3HL New Mexico Ice Wolves.