Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber on Monday said dormitories at the city-owned midtown campus will continue to be used as emergency shelter for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and homeless people trying to self-isolate during the pandemic.
“So, for the moment, it’s up and running. It’ll continue, I expect, all summer long and then we’ll see where we are,” Webber said in his weekly briefing.
The city and local shelters have been housing homeless people at motels and in dorms on the former campus of the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, a property the city owns on St. Michael’s Drive, to help prevent the spread of the respiratory illness among a population that could be vulnerable to an outbreak.
Joseph Jordan-Berenis, executive director of the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place on Cerrillos Road, also said the shelter would remain open to men in the summer, rather than operating as a summer “Safe Haven” for women and children, as it has in the past. Women and children are being housed in a motel for the time being.
Webber said the city also would help house women and children at the midtown campus.
“We have money to keep people in the motel through June 30, if the concern about COVID-19 is still there,” Jordan-Berenis said. “Nobody knows how this is going to unwind; I don’t know when the end point is at this time.”
He said he said was unaware of the city’s plan to keep the midtown campus open as a COVID-19 shelter over the summer.
Webber said the emergency shelter at the campus eventually will be scaled down, but the time frame is not yet clear.
“Right now, we’re going to continue operate it, as we look at the way in which we get past the peak of the infection,” Webber said. “Then, we’ll look at how and under what circumstances we begin to gradually unwind.”