The Albuquerque Homeless Battle – Liberation Information
Albuquerque, New Mexico is a popular tourist destination in the Southwest. It is viewed by both visitors and residents as a place of history and fascination that offers a warmer climate and rural charm. However, the city is facing a growing homelessness crisis. Thousands of people migrate through Albuquerque from the United States. Currently the city counts at least 5,000 people as homeless, although the figure of 8,000 is probably more realistic. Albuquerque Public Schools estimates that at least 3,500 of its students are homeless.
These statistics come from local organizations based on the number of people receiving homelessness services. While many homeless people visit these facilities, some areas where services are located are avoiding due to threats from business owners or homeowners calling the police to report them as being in their area.
The state of New Mexico has been mandated to finance housing for the homeless, but its regulations place significant barriers that make it difficult to find help.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller is developing a plan to meet the needs of this diverse group of welfare and housing needs. In a typical capitalist response, city guides focus on limited solutions. He has given higher priority to high-priced but less necessary things like increasing the budget for a failed public transport project and launching a major police recruitment campaign. Such spending limits spending on significant homelessness solutions.
In a planned development, city officials recently unveiled plans to build tiny houses to be part of the affordable housing program. This tiny hometown would be a closed community of 25-35 houses. The houses would be 116 square feet with heating, cooling, electricity, and pre-installed furniture. They wouldn’t include any plumbing; Showers, toilets, and kitchens would be in communal areas. Each “tiny house” is estimated to cost $ 17,000 to $ 20,000.
The tiny village concept would serve a limited number of people. The sad reality is that many apartments and houses in the city are vacant and the large number of new houses being built every month is creating even more vacancies. A program that placed people in these vacant units would create a greater sense of dignity and worth than placing them in a tiny house with no plumbing.
However, a tiny house village is a small step in the right direction. The main problem right now is to find an area where the project can be located. Opponents claim that this would lower property values because of the “uncleanliness and aggressive behavior of the population”. A perfect example of this mentality is the local executive director of Steel Bridge Ministries, which provides temporary shelter for the homeless. Pastor John Hill was quoted as saying that the guidelines for his facility are: “Tents are not allowed for the homeless because we don’t want to make them feel constant. We want them to leave in the morning when our security wakes them up. “
Even more worrying are the more criminal steps the Keller government is taking to deal with the homeless population. These steps include increasing the police presence and cleaning up neighborhoods by “clearing out” homeless populations. The most recent example of this strategy is the fact that the city is forcing homeless people to leave an established camp so visitors who attend the balloon fiesta are not forced to see them.
The city has also passed an anti-panhandling ordinance. Fortunately, the regulation is being challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
The failure of this capitalist system is plain to see. The current minimum hourly wage in Albuquerque is $ 8.80. In most cases, workers have to use 80 percent of their wages on rent (apartments in the city typically cost between $ 600 and $ 800 a month for a one-bedroom apartment). Landlords benefit from people’s need for this basic human right. If tenants are late with renting or have a financial emergency, they can easily become homeless. During the past fiscal year, both New Mexico and Albuquerque have cut education significantly and increased food taxation. Both the Income Support and Medicaid Services programs were cut significantly this year at the state and federal levels.
All of this is happening while the military budget for new nuclear armaments and research has increased significantly at Kirtland Air Force Base and Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. The need for a new economic system is clear. The misuse of government funds and wasteful spending by the city do not solve the problem of the homeless outdoors. Everyone has the right to a living wage and adequate housing. Thousands of people get angry and restless because capitalism does not meet our basic needs.