ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Wednesday, the city of Albuquerque approved the first Safe Outdoor Space for homeless encampments at Menaul and I-25 and by next month, as many as 50 people could be calling the location home.
“We’re hoping maybe as early as 30 days but it could be 45. It was very exciting to find out that Albuquerque is making the step in the right direction because I think it’s going to make a big difference,” said Agni Kudra, with Dawn Legacy Pointe, the non-profit which will be overseeing the site.
Kudra says over the course of the next few days applications will be going up on their website for those experiencing homelessness. Kudra says she expects the available spaces to go quickly which will be given on a first come first served basis.
The site will allow up to 50 people maximum based on approval. Kudra says those with active warrants will not be allowed and people interested in living at the Safe outdoor Space will need to actively be looking into getting into housing.
She mentions the site will serve people that have been trafficked or exploited in the sex trade, but people who live nearby say they fear the sanctioned encampment will only cause harm to their neighborhoods. “There’s not going to be a criminal element allowed here, we want to keep our residents safe so if there is any trouble we will be calling the police,” said Kudra.
Kudra says the site will include opaque fencing, garbage sites, and restrooms to help keep the area clean. Funding for the site will come from both the city and the county as well as private donors. Three more applications for safe outdoor spaces are awaiting review from the city.