The process behind removing homeless camps from public places

Politics - Government

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – You can drive just about anywhere and see homeless encampments, including Los Altos Park, again. The city has moved countless camps from there in the past, but there’s another one set up and it’s creating a lot of trash. The city says they can’t just force the campers to leave immediately, much like a landlord evicting a tenant, they have to give them notice.

“Camping on public property is not allowed,” said Lisa Huval, the deputy director of Housing and Homelessness. “People experiencing homelessness do have constitutional rights,” Huval explained.

A big tent community is now set up in the grassy area near the southeast parking lot at Los Altos Park. There was also another encampment on the west bound frontage road at University, near that piles of trash were spotted, and a sign asking for help.

The city says they have an encampment team made up of seven people. Their job is to respond to reported encampments set up on public property, and give the people living there notice that they have to go. Once their time is up, the encampment team checks in to make sure the people did in fact move. Once the encampment has been vacated, the city says they’ll clean up whatever is left behind at the camp.

“They’ll remove any trash or debris that’s there and pick up needles,” said Huval. “They just make sure the area is in good condition,” she said.

KRQE News 13 asked if Coronado Park near I-40 and 2nd Street is subject to a response from the encampment team because there’s always a lot of tents set up there. They say the encampment team, along with Parks and Rec, and Solid Waste goes out there every morning, during the week, to give campers notice and clean up the park. They also work on getting them connected to resources and services they may need.

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