ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – What was supposed to be one of the city’s solutions to Albuquerque’s homeless problem, turned out to be anything but.
“We don’t want that here. We don’t want it. The whole neighborhood is against it,” one resident said in October of 2022.
Endless amounts of backlash from neighbors, even a protest on the Safe Outdoor Spaces, the city-sanctioned homeless camps that came with certain rules.
“Why do they want to have homeless encampments anyway? I just don’t agree,” another resident said back in August of 2022.
Now, more than a year later, those Safe Outdoor Spaces are hard to find.
“At this point, it does kind of seem like the program is at a standstill. However, we do have the two operating Safe Outdoor Spaces currently going,” CABQ’s Planning Department Public Information Coordinator Tim Walsh said.
Right now, the only two approved sanctioned homeless camps are at the West Side Emergency Housing Shelter and the Albuquerque Opportunity Center, connected to the nonprofit Heading Home, on Candelaria near Edith. The Safe Outdoor Spaces house people who are currently living in their cars.
According to the SOS map, while two applications were withdrawn, five locations were denied. Three of them were for incomplete applications, and the other two did not meet specific standards.
While Walsh said the city received quite a few applications at the beginning of the program, that’s not the case anymore.
“Here at the Planning Department, we have not received a Safe Outdoor Space application since last year,” he said.
No applications since September of 2022.
The city did not want to speculate on why they hadn’t received any applications. Dawn Legacy Pointe, a local nonprofit, that originally applied to be a Safe Outdoor Space, did not want to comment.
The Planning Department said they are still accepting Safe Outdoor Space applications.