ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – There’s a new massive homeless camp in Albuquerque, and it just keeps growing. Neighbors say it’s growing because of the closing of Coronado Park. Frustrated neighbors are calling the growing homeless encampment near Indian School Rd. and First Street the new Coronado Park saying the city’s solution to homeless in the area isn’t working.
“They’re just not tackling it enough. You see literally houses. They have couches, they have their tents, all their blankets, everything. But it looks like houses, but it’s a mess,” said Gloria Herron, who lives near the encampment.
Herron and other neighbors say while they try to avoid the underpasses in the area, their neighborhood has turned into an eyesore. Neighbors say they’ve seen homeless people start fires to stay warm at night. One neighbor says she’s even caught people breaking into cars trying to steal gas.
Adding to their list of concerns, neighbors say it’s become a hazard walking down streets filled with needles. They say it’s only gotten worse since the closing of Coronado Park. Usually, when we see that, we try to dispose of it, but it’s not our job to do that. I don’t think it should be our job to do that, especially in our neighborhood. The city needs to take care of it and honestly, the mayor needs to get on it period,” added Herron.
Hoping to keep the crime out, neighbors say they’ve reinforced security at their homes with gates, lights and cameras. However, they hope the city can keep a closer eye on the growing encampment. While neighbors say they’ve seen city workers clean up the area, they say it’s no use as the encampments keep popping up.
A spokesperson for the Albuquerque Department of Solid Waste says crews go out daily to clean up the area. They also help provide services for the homeless.