ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  A growing homeless camp in near Central and  Pennsylvania has some Albuquerque property owners calling on the city for help.

“I counted about 20 tents, but here there are about three more because this one here was not there before. There are already about 23 tents,” said nearby property owner, Margarita Amaton.

After owning an apartment complex near Pennsylvania and Central for 20 years, Amaton said just feet from her property is an area that’s seen better days.

“It used to be less dangerous, but recently, the area has gotten much worse.” 

In fact, two months ago, Amaton said she was attacked by one of the homeless campers, who stole her phone and left her with bruises and a black eye. She said, every year during the State Fair, the encampment at the corner of Chico and Pennsylvania doubles if not, triples, in size, placing a burden on her tenants and the neighborhood.

“It’s very stressful because if you see the apartments, they are quiet, and this is a business. While I don’t have many children here right now, I wouldn’t want my children to see someone taking drugs or finding needles,” Amaton explained.

Amaton said she and her neighbors have made several reports to the city about the growing encampment, and while the city sends clean-up crews, it’s not enough.

“Once crews finish cleaning, the encampments return, a bunch of people just generating trash,” said Amaton. The property owner said she hopes the city will step up its patrols and clean-up efforts. “I wish they would do something because I can’t.”

A spokesperson for Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Department, which oversees city clean-up, said they are aware of the growing encampment and are working to enforce city policies.