ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque nonprofit struggling with safety issues in its building, has been dealt another blow. A fire ripped through Old Bea’s Restaurant along Central near Louisiana Sunday.

The adjoining building is the home of the outreach program Street Safe New Mexico, which serves victims of sex trafficking and homeless women. In September of 2020, News 13 reported about the problems in that vacant space next door, including mounds of trash, rodents, and signs of people camping and doing drugs.

Street Safe ended up moving out temporarily over the safety concerns. The city was in the process of demolishing the restaurant and the nonprofit was planning to move back in soon. But now, they will have to assess the water and smoke damage before they determine how to move forward. “We have a lot of words running around the nonprofit right now, like ‘jinxed’ and ‘bad luck’ and ‘cursed.’ I don’t necessarily believe in any of those things, but it is getting to be a bit much,” said Christine Barber of Street Safe New Mexico.

The Street Safe director says they’re grateful for AFR’s hard work protecting their side of the building. Even though Barber believes the fire was started intentionally, AFR has said the fire’s cause is currently undetermined.

In the meantime, Street Safe still plans on helping women in need and will continue to hand out sanitary items to them everyday. However, they are unsure when they will be able to get back into their office.

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