U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, center, visits with members of the integrated medical outreach team at a mobile outreach site for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless Wednesday in Albuquerque. Courtesy photo
From the Office of U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich:
ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) visited a mobile outreach site for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless (AHCH), Wednesday and met with members of their integrated medical outreach team.
Heinrich saw firsthand how AHCH directs medical outreach and harm reduction care in Albuquerque, and how they have been able to continue their services thanks to federal funding Heinrich helped secure in the CARES Act.
“I am so thankful for all that Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless does every day to provide comprehensive health and integrated supportive services to those experiencing homelessness before and during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Heinrich said. “As millions of Americans face continued hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am doing everything in my power to fight for the support New Mexicans need, the science-based public health response necessary to save lives, and economic investments to rebuild our communities.”
In 2020, Heinrich fought to secure funding in the the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that provided direct support for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). AHCH received $816,000 in CARES Act funding as an FQHC and received $882,000 through the Paycheck Protection Program, allowing the center to continue providing critical services to those in the community experiencing homelessness.
Heinrich is fighting to help the Biden-Harris administration pass the American Rescue Plan that includes funding for equitable testing and vaccine distribution, increases funding for community health centers, extends the eviction moratorium through September. The plan also would provide assistance for renters and small landlords to help make ends meet.
“With COVID-19 relief dollars to-date, we have been able to keep all of our staff fully and safely employed in meaningful work, provide a high quality and level of integrated care, and offer continuity through the pandemic to already vulnerable and disenfranchised members of our community,” AHCH CEO Jenny Metzler said. “Their issues haven’t gone away, they’ve only been and will continue to be exacerbated by COVID-19. In NM, we are fortunate to have a Congressional Delegation that knows the importance of getting funds into action, on the ground, to find real solutions to homelessness like our integrated Street Medicine and Harm Reduction Outreach. AHCH teams are committed to remaining agile and responsive and to do so will rely on future relief funding.”
For more than three decades, AHCH has served the community as the only health care organization in central New Mexico dedicated exclusively to providing services to people experiencing homelessness. AHCH provides critical services to more than 7,000 men, women and children every year. By addressing the health-related causes of homelessness, AHCH makes it possible for people to find solutions to end their homelessness.