Neighbors increase issues about homeless camps in northwest Albuquerque
“In the past two and a half weeks, there hasn’t been a night that we could sleep through the night without some disturbance. It’s a significant amount of fear,” said Melissa Chappell, an Albuquerque resident.
That’s the reality for homeowners in a neighborhood in northwest Albuquerque. They said a large group of homeless people had moved next to their homes in Coors and Ouray.
“We jumped people over the fence and I don’t want to be here in the middle of the night when people jumped over the fence,” said Margie Torres-Nunez, an Albuquerque resident.
“It’s usually a pretty quiet area,” said Chappell.
But that’s been a constant topic for two months.
“So we caught someone with the security camera searching cars and rubbish. An increase in rubbish in the area. When I walk on the paths, there are syringes,” said Chappell.
Both women wanted to confront those who caused the uproar, but worried about what might happen.
“I’m scared of screaming out my window so I can sleep because I don’t know if there will be retaliation because they obviously know exactly where I live,” said Chappell.
Chappell said she believes the homeless have been relocated to their neighborhood – away from the popular tourist areas where they usually hang out because of the Balloon Fiesta.
“They are like ‘We’ll throw them there until the Balloon Fiesta is over’. It seems like that’s exactly what happened,” she said.
While the neighbors understand the struggle these people are going through, they are asking for a better solution than simply taking them elsewhere.
“They are actually people with a heart and family. But I am also someone’s family with a family and we all have to find that out together,” said Chappell.
KOB 4 turned to the mayor’s office with these complaints – and his office sent this statement:
“No one was evicted or relocated due to the cleanup in the run-up to the Balloon Fiesta. These homelessness challenges are why we are working to bring the Gateway Center online and actively connect more people to the appropriate shelter and accommodation to provide it . ” one way off the road. “