$700,000, that’s the amount of money that Albuquerque officials state it will take to fully clean up the most prominent homeless park in the state. Within the last decade, Coronado Park has turned into a place where many homeless have made the park their home, while just recently placing tents at the park, and where many homeless get rides to other shelters, or simply dropped off after their shelter visits.
Over the past 6 months, Albuquerque city officials have noticed and have made efforts to clean up the park. Every other Wednesday, they have hired multiple crews to move the homeless from the park, to another one, clean up Coronado Park, then transport the homeless back to that park. The major issues are that:
- The park reverts to its previous state in a matter of days.
- It encourages the homeless population to stay in an unsafe environment.
- It doesn’t help homeless people get back on their feet, financially, physically, or emotionally.
- Taxpayers fund $27,154 every other Wednesday to clean up the park; which breaks down to exactly $706,004 every year!
With all these factors playing a role in the homelessness in the city, some city councilors have proposed that Coronado Park become a permanent homeless ‘encampment,’ with walls, screens, facilities, and social services, to make it feel more like home. Along with this park, some city councilors are wanting to create more ‘encampments,’ similar in idea and structure to Coronado Park, all over Albuquerque.
In theory, converting this existing issue into something that could potentially work out well, sounds like a “no-brainer.” When looking at the cost of one ‘encampment,’ it’s easy to see where taxpayer money could go, as well as the possibility of a higher tax rate for Albuquerque citizens, although no tax rate adjustment has currently been proposed. The solution to this situation isn’t more ‘encampments’ around the city, but rather using existing housing resources to support this particular population, or that same amount of money to create more efficient shelters and housing for them. These ideas, coupled with supporting their financial, mental, and emotional needs, will get to the heart of the issue instead of continuing to make temporary solutions to a problem that need more than a ‘quick fix.’
On June 6th, city councilors will vote on this issue, some of them believing that this idea is worth implementing, when it could possibly will harm the city. This is where you come in: Click HERE to tell city councilors that this isn’t the answer to the problem and that you as a citizen of Albuquerque don’t want this in your city-it’ll take 30-45 seconds! And by taking action, you have an opportunity to improve the lives of New Mexicans!
And for relevant news about our state and how you can be part of the change, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or the office at (505)836-4223.