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Homeless centers should provide security

Adolphe Pierre-Louis/JOURNAL

Over the past years the city has been grappling with how and where to offer more shelter and help for the homeless. …

The basic question is what is the acceptable level of both shelter and help. …Many of us were domiciled in one- or two-person rooms with bathroom facilities down the hall and a central dining facility and some level of security provided while in college or other educational training – not great but acceptable. Also, those who were in the service probably had a bunk and storage locker in an open barracks … still with separate open bathroom facilit(ies) and separate mess hall – not great but survivable.

Now, consider what minimum accommodations are provided when you are on an overnight or longer trip: individual room … (with) a bathroom, closet, desk/chairs, separate heat/cool controls, TV/radio and often coffee maker, microwave and small refrigerator. Not all the comforts of home – but close.

So is it not reasonable for a homeless person to desire to have an individual room that he can lock along with its own bathroom? Many homeless (people) have been preyed upon on the streets or are so paranoid they need the security of their own room. In fact, many of them are more afraid of non-homeless people than we are of them. So a prime need for them is a place with personal security of their own bathroom and security to protect them. From that basic perquisite then service such as meals, health care, education, training, legal aid, etc. can be provided as possible.

Using that basic premise of what will be provided, for Albuquerque it would be of more help and service to site homeless centers in each of the four quadrants of the city. Further it would help mitigate the NIMBY concern associated with selecting locations; a (shelter) with only 50 or 60 residents is a lot less worrisome to the surrounding residents/business than one with 300. Further, there are some vacant developments where a homeless help center would actually be an improvement in the safety, security and property values of the area. …

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