Albuquerque woman blames friary for increase crime in her neighborhood

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque mother is fed up after she said the trash and crime in her neighborhood are out of control. She even said she caught a man shooting up drugs right outside her daughter’s window and she now believes, she knows what’s behind all the problems.

The woman wants to remain anonymous but said she’s lived near Copper and San Mateo for 15 years and the problems keep getting worse and worse. “We find needles, we find trash, they use the bushes in the neighborhood as their drawers, they store things, we’ve had neighbors fill their trash cans and not being able to put their trash in because of all the stuff they bring.”

The woman said about 10 years ago, the San Juan Diego Friary opened up in the neighborhood. They serve the homeless free meals every Wednesday. She claims since then she’s seen way more crime in the area, including a man she said she took a picture of on Monday shooting up just outside her 11-year-old daughter’s window. 

The woman reached out to the Friary and they told her it’s unfortunate this type of activity is happening, but it’s out of their control. KRQE News 13 also spoke with the friary and showed them the picture of the man and got the same response. 

“Certainly it’s not something we condone by any means, but again, we’re doing our very best to help the homeless, to provide for their basic needs, but what they do and where they go after they leave us, is really out of our control,” said Father Juan Diego Sutherland, the Director of Father Robert Kitchen.

Both the Friary and the woman plan on reaching out to the city to see if they can help resolve the issues. City Councilor Pat Davis, who represents that area, sent the following statement:

“Our faith-based services fill important gaps in our services across the city. The city is housing almost 800 formerly homeless and we’ll continue to direct alternative housing options at the Friary so people have options beyond the street after meals.”

A spokesperson with the Albuquerque Police Department said the commander of that area said they get calls from time to time about the homeless community mainly near Central and San Mateo, which is just a few blocks from the Friary. 

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