Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeLocal NewsNew MexicoCity of Albuquerque looking for new operator of westside shelter

City of Albuquerque looking for new operator of westside shelter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  As the City of Albuquerque works to revitalize its Westside Emergency Housing Center, it’s also on the hunt for someone to run the place after the current operator announced it won’t renew its contract.

The WEHC is in the process of a refresh. “The first dorm refresh is completed this week. The new beds are going to be built and installed next week,” said Maria Wolfe, Homeless Innovations Officer for the city.

The WEHC will also be getting a new operator. The non-profit Heading Home has operated the shelter for more than four years but will no longer do so after the contract expires after the end of next month. The city said the non-profit wants to focus on its own efforts to tackle homelessness. Efforts to reach Heading Home for this story were unsuccessful.

“Heading Home is a great partner. They’ve worked hard to meet the needs of the people there even in really demanding times when the shelter filled up this winter,” said Wolfe.

But now the search is on for a new group to operate the facility. “Number one: they have to absolutely care about the people who are there,” said Wolfe.

The group also has to be able to provide a safe, healthy, and caring environment that is also welcome to guests’ furry companions. “They’ll all have to accept pets. We need shelter providers to understand the importance of people being able to have their pets with them,” said Wolfe.

The city is putting out a call for proposals from organizations interested in operating the shelter and providing services for those staying there. They expect to have a new operator in place for a few months. In the meantime, the services will remain unaffected.

“Heading home has agreed to continue with working with us until we have a provider in place,” said Wolfe. “They know the importance of keeping the shelter stable so that everybody who’s there and relies on it for their everyday home has a place to be.”

The city said it has had a proposal but had to turn it down as it did not meet their criteria to operate the shelter.

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