Santa Fe’s Midtown Campus Houses Homeless During COVID-19


Rhiannon Webb

Ever since the beginning of March, the number of coronavirus cases across the nation has risen at a rapid pace, and New Mexico has experienced the spike as well. To combat these cases, the City of Santa Fe has begun to shelter the homeless in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.

Homeless shelters across Santa Fe were possible hotspots for spreading the virus due to how populated they become. In an article written for the Santa Fe New Mexican, Danielle Prokop writes, “The city of Santa Fe is helping to ease the populations of people staying at local homeless shelters by paying to put some of them up in hotel rooms and moving others to midtown campus dorms.”

Prokop explains that when the dormitories first opened up, about only five people occupied the space. However, by request from the Department of Health, “Officials hope to eventually open 150 beds in multiple buildings on the former college campus to allow homeless people to self-isolate and prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.”

Not only is the Midtown Campus on St. Michael’s Drive (formerly the Santa Fe University of Art and Design and, before that, the College of Santa Fe) providing shelter for the homeless, but it is also being used for other coronavirus associated purposes. Albuquerque Journal writer Edmundo Carrillo reports that the Midtown Campus is being prioritized for people who need a place to isolate while awaiting coronavirus test results.

By using this campus as a way to depopulate homeless shelters and provide a safe space for those awaiting test results, this keeps the community safer by preventing the spread. According to some officials, this communication among governments and nonprofits could help provide a path to finding long-term shelter for more people in need.