ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Officials with the city of Albuquerque were out cleaning up Coronado Park Wednesday morning. Crews worked to clear out a large homeless encampment that has been a problem at the park for years. Crews were clearing it out and cleaning it up, just so the homeless campers could move right back in.
City crews cleaned up trash and litter left around the park. Wednesday’s cleanup comes after a man was found shot and killed at the park Tuesday. One woman experiencing homeless told KRQE News 13 how unsafe she feels at the park, saying there are dangerous people that stay there and that people have died at the park.
The Family and Community Services Department says cleaning up Coronado Park is a priority in order to prevent disease and outbreaks as well as to provide some level of hygiene to people living in the encampment. While camping in parks is illegal, the city is not writing citations as they do from time to time in other parks around town
Tuesday, Keller said the city tries to get out to the park for clean ups every two weeks. He says Coronado Park is a pick-up site for the westside shelter, so every person living there has been offered services before. He said the city needs council to vote on zoning changes next week to open the gateway center on Gibson, which can give the city more legal options to remove the homeless from parks. Keller says its going to take several measures, including sanctioned homeless camps throughout the city, but those camps and the gateway center will be limited by strict rules. Critics to these options say the homeless will not utilize these resources because of their no-drug policy.