Rep. Stansbury, Sen. Heinrich Highlight Millions In Funding Secured For New Mexico’s First Medical Sobering Center

Jan. 18, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) met with City of Albuquerque officials to discuss how over $4.2 million in direct federal investments that they secured is developing the Gateway Center at Gibson Health Hub, the first medical sobering center in New Mexico. Courtesy photo

From the Office of U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury:

ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (N.M.-01) and U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.) met with City of Albuquerque officials recently to discuss how more than $4.2 million in direct federal investments that they secured is developing the Albuquerque Sobering Center at the Gibson Health Hub, the first medical sobering center in New Mexico.  

The Sobering Center is intended to divert individuals with low acuity intoxication from overcrowded emergency departments and jails to a safe place with medical monitoring to gain sobriety and to access treatment, housing, and other unmet needs.  

“We must make meaningful investments in our communities to tackle the biggest challenges we’re facing across New Mexico. That’s why I am proud to have secured federal funding to construct the first-of-its-kind Albuquerque Sobering Center as part of a wider $28 million we secured in Community Funded Projects for our District last Congress,” Stansbury said. “This facility will provide a safe place for individuals struggling with addiction to access treatment, housing, and other vital wrap-around services. I am grateful to work in partnership with leaders like Mayor Keller and Sen. Heinrich to help provide comprehensive resources that holistically address our communities’ behavioral health and housing needs.” 

“I have worked to steer federal resources to ensure the Gateway Center is successful so that we can provide critical resources to folks in our community to help them get their lives back on track,” Heinrich said. “This center will prove to be a real lifeline for people experiencing alcohol addiction and substance use disorders. By siting this Sobering Center within the Gateway Center, we can also connect folks to behavioral health, housing, and other critical support services.”  

“The Gateway will be a place of healing and hope for our most vulnerable community members,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said. “I am grateful to our federal delegation for supporting this project and investing in the solutions to our toughest challenges.”  

Rep. Stansbury and Sen. Heinrich secured the funding in the Omnibus Appropriations Agreement for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23):

  • $2.2 million in congressionally directed spending for construction, renovation, and equipment costs for the Albuquerque Medical Sobering Center; and
  •  $2 million in congressionally directed spending for the City of Albuquerque to help develop programming for the Albuquerque Medical Sobering Center in New Mexico. Additionally, this funding will be used for operational costs including the hiring of professional and certified medical staff, program management and administration, supplies, transportation vehicles, and facilities management.  

Key attendees: 

  • U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (N.M.-01);
  • U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.);
  • Albuquerque Gateway Center Operations Manager Doug Chaplin;
  • Family and Community Services (FCS) Director Carol Pierce;
  • Albuquerque Gateway Center Administrator Cristina Parajon;
  • City of Albuquerque Chief Administrative Officer Lawrence Rael; and
  • Behavioral Health and Wellness Deputy Director Gilbert Ramirez.  
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