A North Valley man is getting a little tired of his backyard view. He used to see a nice grassy field. Now, he has to look at a line of homeless camps, and he claims the city won’t do anything about it.
Patrick Havens-Allen said he’s called the Albuquerque Police Department and the city asking for help to clean up the camps countless times with no luck. He’s now at his wit’s end and doesn’t know where to turn.
“Basically it’s just like the wild west over here, you know?” Havens-Allen said. “We had one guy move in here and then a couple of weeks after him, a second one moved in. A couple of weeks later the third one, and a fourth one and a fifth, and now we are up to 10 to 15 camps.”
Patrick Havens-Allen owns property near Rio Grande and I-40. These camps have recently popped up along the freeway retaining wall.
“Recently it’s just been just an increase in crime, dirtiness, litter,” he said. “I mean, we got a major influx of homeless people, crazy people, schizophrenics, druggies.”
Havens-Allen said the homeless go from begging for money at off-ramps to their makeshift homes just feet away. He said on Sunday they started a fire, and it wasn’t the first time he has called the police.
“They’ll say, ‘Well, we can’t do anything because we don’t have the authority. So, call the Safe City Task Force,” he explained.
When he calls the city, Havens-Allen said, “If I call 311 and I tell them what’s going on, they’ll tell me to call the police. Police come out, they see this and do nothing, but tell me to call 311 and they’ll clean it up.”
He’s concerned something bad may happen before anything gets done. “Someone died of exposure on this road last year,” he said. “Pretty much the only way I see something happening is if something like a violent crime goes down.”
When KRQE News 13 reached out to police, they referred us to the mayor’s office. A spokesman with the Family and Community Services Department said they were completely unaware of the problem. The city said the land belongs to the State Department of Transportation, and that they are working with the DOT to get the camps cleared out.
The Family and Community Services Department said once it’s made aware of the camps, it takes about three days to get them cleared out. However, in this case, it could take longer because the area is owned by the DOT.
Havens-Allen said he’s also had a couple of break-ins recently. He suspects the same group was responsible.