Albuquerque voters approve bond funding new homeless shelter

Elections

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been a night of voters saying ‘yes’ to investing in their city. Results are still coming in, but most of the votes have been counted and the mayor’s office and Albuquerque Public Schools are celebrating.

Bond Question 2 pays to improve senior and community centers, but the bulk of the funding, $14 million, will go towards building a new homeless shelter. It looks like voters liked the idea, but there’s still a big question on where it will be built.

“The next step is to be working with our local community partners, groups, local business owners to start figuring out where we need to go with what kind of services we need to go in the shelter, where the shelter needs to be, all the million-dollar questions,” planning manager Bobby Sisneros said.

With most of the votes counted, Bond 2 passed with more than 69% of the vote. It totals $21 million in GO bonds for senior and community centers. Of that, $14 million will go towards building a new 24/7 centralized homeless shelter.

That controversial shelter was a big push by the mayor, but plans and a location for it are still unknown. That lack of transparency left some voters uneasy about giving it their approval.

“I voted for it, but I do not like it the way it is lumped together, yes,” Brian Jones said. “Because we should be more clear on what’s happening. Too many of the bonds are giving money and we’ll spend it wisely, and they don’t end up spending it wisely.”

The city says the new shelter, wherever it goes, should help cut down the costs of transporting homeless people to and from the Westside Shelter. Tuesday night, Mayor Keller released a statement saying in part, “Albuquerque reaffirmed our top priorities to fight crime and address homelessness.”

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