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City providing relief at four public centers

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

People who have various needs exacerbated by the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis may be able to get relief at one of four Health and Social Services Centers in Albuquerque.

Each quadrant of the city has a center, and each has been designated a “mission critical” facility, Deputy Director of Public Health Gilbert Ramirez said during the mayor’s Tuesday coronavirus news conference.

Among the services and items provided are monthly food boxes, limited supplies of diapers and hygiene products, and a clothing bank.

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The centers also have an eviction prevention program funded by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

People facing eviction must have identification and a lease or payment agreement that details the payment delinquency and how much is owed, Ramirez said. The program has just under $47,000 available, he said.

However, donations can be made to the centers to provide eviction protection for those people who do not qualify for the federally funded program. On Wednesday, there was only about $10,000 available for that program. People who donate can designate where they want the money to go – eviction protection, diapers, food or other items.

People needing the services of a Health and Social Services Center should go to the one in their quadrant of the city, Ramirez said.

The centers are John Marshall, 1500 Walter SE, 848-1345; Alamosa, 6900 Gonzales SW, 836-8800; Los Griegos, 1231 Candelaria NW, 761-4050; and East Central, 7525 Zuni SE, 767-5700.

The city is also looking for donations for its motel voucher program for homeless people, particularly for those who have medical problems, said Lisa Huval, deputy director for housing and homelessness.

Additionally, the city has designated two community centers to provide emergency shelter for those who are in the higher-risk older-age demographic, but do not have COVID-19, she said.

The Thomas Bell Community Center, 3001 University SE, will house up to 50 men ages 62 and older; while the Jack Candelaria Community Center, 400 San Jose SE, will house about 20 women ages 62 and older.

These individuals will be placed only by referral from the West Side Emergency Housing Center, which is operated by Heading Home, Huval said.

The West Side Emergency Housing Center has put into place a system to quickly test people for the COVID-19 virus. Those who do test positive “will be placed in a separate and isolated area of the shelter, where they can rest and recover,” Huval said.