ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The historic Kimo Theater in downtown Albuquerque looks good after the city cleans up the trash and clears out the homeless. “The main part of Central looks a lot better than what it usually looks like with clothes and people laying everywhere,” Zenda, an Albuquerque resident said. But a few hours later, it looks very different.”There is a lot of people just hanging out here, like all day, pretty much every time of the day I would say,” Arvind, who lives down the street from the Kimo, said.
The city admits it’s a problem area. Over the last month and a half, there have been six 311 reports about people loitering and littering near the Kimo Theater. Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Department says they do a litter sweep along that stretch every morning, Monday through Friday. And the city’s Family and Community Services Outreach team officers resources to the people hanging out there. But people who call downtown home say it’s only a matter of hours before they come back.
“They’re usually just kind of sleeping on the street or just walking around, asking people for money,” Arvind said.”You just walk on the other side of the road but there are people on the other side of the road, too. So I just see myself walking this way, and walking back. It’s just kind of a complicated situation overall.”
One person reported on the issue for more than six months, according to a recent 311 report. Some say the city is doing all it can do, but others believe more affordable housing would solve this issue. “I think the city needs to do a better job at providing housing for people, instead of treating people like trash and just sweeping it under the rug,” Eduardo Esquivel, an Albuquerque resident said.
The Albuquerque Community Safety team also helps move the homeless along. They encourage everyone to continue to report encampments and trash through 311. If it’s a behavioral health crisis, they say call 911 or request ACS.