The Albuquerque neighborhood is combating persistent homelessness camps
But Davis said the downtown lot hadn’t been clean or empty in years. He said people who live in tents have inhabited it for at least eight of the twelve years he has lived in his home.
“I don’t want to make you know these people make me miserable because I know they are more miserable than me,” Davis said.
But he said he was at a crossroads, having called the city’s 311 line several times over the years. Only last week the police responded to a request to move the camp.
“The police came and messed things up and nine out of ten people left and 36 hours later they were all back,” said Davis.
Davis said he even spoke to some long-term campers about what they need.
“Don’t tell us that we have to stop drinking before we can get shelter, or that we have to go through full drug rehab before we get shelter. I think that’s the current mindset – shelter first, then therapy, ”said Davis.
And in another part of the Barelas neighborhood, Brian Fejer said he had the same concerns about another camp.
“Something is broken here,” said Fejer.
Earlier this month he took photos of a homeless camp in Barelas Community Center.
“These people have lived here for months. And they have propane tanks, they have grills, I see them smoking drugs,” Fejer said.
He emailed the community center and a leader replied:
“As much as we want to leave these people out, we have to dampen this with compassion for our displaced neighbors. This is a public building and a public park, and the APD told us there is only so much, “You can do to get these people to vacate completely.”
KOB 4 reached out to APD for comment, and a spokesperson said APD receives approximately 1,500 calls for 911 and 242-COPS every day.
“If someone is on private property, it is a criminal trespass. If someone experiences this, they can call 242-COPS and the officers will be dispatched.”
“It’s such a complex problem. And I think the city officials are getting pretty black and white about it, and there are a million shades of gray out here,” Fejer said.
A representative from the city’s waste department, which does much of the work around the camps, said:
“Situations that are seen as imminent danger take precedence. The city will provide services to the individual and then inform them that they have to move.
Fejer said homelessness was his main concern – and took that into account when casting his early vote.
“I just want to take my dog for a walk and live in a safe neighborhood and get these people the help they need. And they don’t get it. “