Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

The local organization hopes Albuquerque will change the way it handles homeless camps

On Tuesday, Aycock said the park was finally tidy.

“This is success. Do we get any help from anyone? It starts with us,” she said.

She founded an organization called Women Take Back our Neighborhoods to call for a change in the homeless situation that she believes is out of control.

“When we find someone who really needs homeless help, we’re helping them in a really important way, we’re finding them, we’re even paying out of our own pockets,” Aycock said. “Our problem is that we want to clean to raise the drug addiction problem.”

But her relentless calls to the city worked to some extent. The homeless camp has moved – across the street.

“We have a process of handling camps on public property that involves contacting people and providing information about services, including accommodation, so they know they have other options,” said Lisa Huval, assistant director of housing and homelessness at the City Office for Family and Social Affairs.

For example, where to stay and trying to put them in touch with nonprofits that can help.

“All I’ve listed are things we’re doing right now. That’s why we now offer road work and help people get off the road. We’re funding $ 12 million in supportive housing programs that will host approximately a thousand individuals and families this year. So I think we’re doing things right now, ”said Huval.

Huval said when they get a call about a warehouse, they respond and give individuals 72 hours to leave the property. When city officials come back and items are still there, they take steps to remove them – considering those items were left behind.

“I saw a man in a wheelchair who tried to get across the street very quickly at the zebra crossing,” says Daniel Porter, a concerned citizen. “Obviously, cars were coming up to him and all. He made it across the street. “

Porter has very different concerns about the city’s handling of the homeless population and believes that there has to be another way.

He sent KOB 4 a picture of a garbage truck throwing someone’s shopping cart full of things.

“I understand the impact this crisis is having on the neighborhoods and the city as a whole. You know, I don’t think there is a clear solution. But as a Christian, my faith teaches me to stand up for the poor and care for the poor, and I don’t think throwing away people’s possessions when that happened is the right solution, ”Porter said.

KOB 4 brought his concerns to Huval – who believes there is more to the story. She said the crews follow strict guidelines.

“If the residents of the camp are present with the camp team, this applies either if there is a dangerous situation, the people are given the opportunity to pick up their things and leave the premises,” she said. “We never throw away people’s personal effects while they are standing there. That will not happen.”

City officials said it was best to call 311 if you either want to ask someone for help or to report a camp. They have civic employees who work full time and respond to camps on public land.

But they prioritize those calls. Anything that could harm these people or the community would be moved to this list.

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