Local non-profit forced to move out of own building

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Another blow to a local non-profit working to help vulnerable women. Safe Street’s New Mexico’s next-door neighbor has been a problem that’s been on the city’s radar for years but the non-profit says they can’t wait for action any longer.

KRQE News 13 told you Tuesday about the Safe Street’s New Mexico’s fight to get the disgusting empty building next to them torn down. After years, the city finally is making progress toward demolishing that building but the non-profit says they still have no choice but to move out.

Causing all kinds of problems for non-profit trying to make a difference in the neighborhood. Christine’s Barber’s Street Safe New Mexico works with sex trafficking victims and homeless women over the last two years in a building near Central and Wyoming, becoming a beacon for women in need, proof of that happening during the interview with News 13.

Barber says they’ve killed an estimated 120 mice in the last four months. Those mice have destroyed thousands of dollars worth of supplies they give out and are thriving off of the filthy conditions inside the Old Bea’s Restaurant. City inspectors recently finding bloody needles, furniture, and other signs of people camping at the property.

The city has been aware of the building since 2014 and finally voted to start the demolition process but the non-profit was one vote shy of getting the tear-down fast-tracked.

“Because of that vote… that one councilor we have to leave our building because we can’t continue to put our volunteers who we like very much and the women we serve who we like a lot too in any danger, we just can’t,” Barber said.

It’s not clear why city councilor Klarissa Pena voted against the resolution but her no vote means the earliest the rodent-infested building could come down is in mid-November; a timeline Street Safe can’t work with.

“We will be right back in this building as soon as it’s gone. If that building’s gone tomorrow, we’ll be here and we’ll be back serving the women of the International District,” Barber said.

Realistically, it’ll be the end of the year before the Old Bea’s is torn down and that’s all contingent on city council approval, City council will vote on the demolition again on October 5. After that, there will be an appeal process. If there’s no appeal, they’ll start looking for a contractor.

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