Sober living home concerns northeast Albuquerque neighborhood

Some northeast heights neighbors are hoping for solutions to continued conflicts with a sober living home on their block. 

The sober living home, operated by Hoffman Hall, has been open for the last year and a half along Eric Drive near Montgomery and Wyoming boulevards.  

In the time the home has been open, neighbors say the home has become a nuisance, attracting bad behavior and concerns over criminal activity. 

“They don’t give a rip about us as citizens,” said a neighbor at a Wednesday night meeting on the sober home. 

“I know for a fact that since I’ve been there, a lot of stuff has in fact calmed down,” said Mo Lacy, the manager of the Eric Street sober home. 

The tension between the home and neighbors came to Albuquerque Police’s attention during a recent Community Policing Council meeting. Police moderated Wednesday’s meeting with a goal of helping neighbors and Hoffman Hall communicate. 

“We want to facilitate a positive solution to the problem,” said an Albuquerque Police commander. 

Neighbor Miia Hébert is one of those who’s concerned.  

“We want the neighborhood back the way it was, we want to feel safe,” said Hébert. 

She says in the last year, neighbors have experienced more car break-ins, noise, litter and other safety concerns with the home. 

“Just more activity of people walking about that we didn’t recognize,” said Hébert. 

Typically, Hoffman Hall says about 10 to 12 recovering addicts are living inside the home, with the goal of eventually moving out on their own. 

Hoffman Hall program directors addressed neighbors’ concerns Wednesday evening, saying they promised to be more responsive. 

“I promise you, if you call me …I’ll take care of it, I’ll get in my car and be there in 10 minutes,” said Robert Villalobos, the director of Hoffman Hall’s program. 

In an interview with KRQE News 13 Wednesday, Villalobos said the safety in and around the homes is paramount. 

“It has to be a safe environment,” said Villalobos. 

While Villalobos did admit there have been issues at the Eric Street house, he says a new home director has taken over and his team is committed to a better response to neighbors. 

“Given the opportunity we always try to support and help wherever we can in our neighborhoods,” said Villalobos. 

At the end of Wednesday’s meeting, neighbors were able to get phone numbers to directly contact the house and program managers.  

Albuquerque Police also told neighbors that officers will look further into the size of the house to see if it’s legally big enough for everyone to be living there. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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