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WSCC and Centene Charitable Foundation Donate $3 million to Gateway Project for Homeless

Date: 01/04/23

Albuquerque

The Centene Charitable Foundation and Western Sky Community Care committed funds of $3 million to the One Albuquerque Fund for “The Gateway” project. The Gateway focuses on key service gaps for homeless populations including providing a new center for emergency overnight beds with wrap-around services such as case management, a 24/7 receiving area for first responders, medical sobering, and medical respite.

According to the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness, more than 1,300 people in Albuquerque sleep in shelters or on the streets each night. Despite a growing need, there are currently limited options for comprehensive, trauma-informed services in Albuquerque. The Gateway will promote healing and recovery by providing safe, dignified, emergency shelter with wrap-around services to help guests transition to stable, permanent housing in addition to other community resources.

“Reducing homelessness is a community effort, and we all need to be part of the solution,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “We are grateful to Western Sky and the Centene Charitable Foundation for stepping up to support the Gateway. With the services coming, including the city’s first ever 24/7 first responder receiving area, Albuquerque will be better positioned to move the needle and get people the help they need.”

The City of Albuquerque acquired the Gibson Medical Center, which already serves as a health hub with six existing tenants providing care services. As part of this health hub, the Gateway will add more health resources for the homeless community, as well as centrally located emergency overnight beds and supportive services toward permanent housing.

Gateway will be built in stages, with completion of the first phase anticipated in the spring of 2023. Phase one will include:

·      Emergency Housing Program and Engagement Center which will serve 200 single, adult women per year with 50 initial emergency overnight beds and 90-day transitions to housing. 

·      24/7 Receiving Area for First Responders which will make up to 1,500 transports per year to needed services.

“Western Sky is pleased to join the Centene Charitable Foundation in supporting our state. Gateway will close some existing gaps in available health and community resources,” said Western Sky President and CEO Jean Wilms. “Our mission is to bring quality healthcare to all New Mexicans, and by joining the efforts to create tangible solutions, we are achieving that goal at its foundation.”

In addition to the financial contributions, Western Sky Community Care will continue to be committed to local support and community engagements including care coordination, health equity, behavioral health, and outreach in the community.