ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the city tries to tackle its homeless problem, a new report by the New Mexico Coalition to end Homelessness details just how many people are homeless in Albuquerque. The report also reveals where they are from, and the data shows a lot of them are from out of state.
New Mexico Coalition to end Homelessness Spokesperson, Alexandra Paisano says volunteers conducted a Point in Time Count on January 31. That count found how many people were experiencing homelessness across the city, but updated numbers from the nonprofit’s Homeless Management Information System show more people are living on the streets. “We have an overwhelming amount of people, specifically families, which has really increased,” said Paisano. The New Mexico Coalition to end Homelessness says there were more than 1,300 people living on the streets of Albuquerque in January, but according to their more recent data that number has grown. “It depends on a lot of different factors, the time of year we are required to do PIT data is not ideal, it’s in January and typically without fail. We get snow or really bad weather,” Paisano said.
The nonprofit says that number has grown to more than 2,800 homeless people with 21% or more than 600 of them coming from outside of the state. “We do see a number of people that come here because they have family or friends here and they think they think they can get help here and it takes so long they kind of burn bridges and it so it doesn’t end up working out. We’ve had some people tell us that they were given a bus ticket and sent here and told that it would be much easier for them to obtain housing in Albuquerque. A lot of people tend to come to Albuquerque when they experience homelessness in the rural community just because there is a lack of services there,” added Paisano.
These point-in-time counts are collected annually and are required by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Paisano says many aspects lead to homelessness, including; debt, domestic violence, aging out of foster care and not being able to afford rent. She says having an array of affordable housing options is the solution to helping end homelessness. Nonetheless, Paisano says she expects Albuquerque’s homeless population to keep growing as rent prices increase.