ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – “Not in my backyard.” That’s been a common sentiment from people across Albuquerque about the mayor’s proposed homeless shelter. City leaders are aware of the concerns, which is why they’re asking for some major public input as to where it should go.
Many neighbors say they’re not okay with a new homeless shelter popping up in their backyards.
“How do you design something without knowing the dimensions of the property? You have to know where the location is,” a woman said at an October meeting about the shelter.
The location of the city’s so-called “Gateway Center” is a hot topic. This Saturday, the mayor’s office has invited the public to come out to the Convention Center for a public info session about the shelter.
A large crowd is expected. Ahead of the meeting, the mayor’s office has also launched an online survey asking for feedback on the location of the $30 million facility, which could house around 300 people.
At the top of the list are three locations: I-40 and Second Street, “another location in the downtown area,” and a property just south of the state lab near I-25 and Lomas.
“This is really a big front door to really get people connected to service, and as well as have them safe,” said Carol Pierce, Director of Family and Community Services.
The city kept the other six choices very broad, like the Northeast Heights area, the South Valley area, and the North Valley area. KRQE News 13 asked the city why it wasn’t more specific with those options.
“We’re keeping that broad right now on the survey,” Pierce said.
The survey also asks what needs to be considered to minimize neighborhood impact, including the building’s design, security, and its proximity to public safety.
“We always want to look at the impact of neighborhoods and businesses. We know this is a challenge for our community, and we want to do this the best way we can,” Pierce said.
More than 500 people have taken the online survey. So far, the city says more than 100 people have signed up to attend Saturday’s 9 a.m. public meeting at the Convention Center. The public is asked to register in advance for the public session by clicking here or calling Constituent Services at (505) 768-3000.