Mayor wrong to force shelter on neighborhood - Albuquerque Journal

Mayor wrong to force shelter on neighborhood

Mayor Tim Keller has no clue what to do with the homeless, a population that has grown exponentially during his brief time as mayor due to his liberal policies without true solutions.

So now they are kept overnight at the West Side jail with some in quarantine and sick. I wonder how they take showers, are fed, are tested and monitored for coronavirus? Still, there are about a thousand living on sidewalks, under bridges, in Coronado Park, waiting to catch a contaminated bus or (be) dropped off at a dollar store or liquor store to get “supplies” and food not available at the shelter.

It seems (the Journal) and (Family & Community Services Director) Carol Pierce want to give Keller the medal of honor for “moving forward” on a shelter in light of this devastating virus! (He deserves) just the opposite. He is a bully politician who puts the lives of the residents, businesses and even the homeless as his last priority.

The homeless are chronically sick and do not have good health practices. They do everything opposite virus guidelines. Meanwhile they are kept in tight quarters (and) transported in crowded buses to and from Coronado Park. They are out and about in groups as if there were no virus, no social spacing needed. As with the University of New Mexico (proposed shelter site), the city did not hold one single meeting with the neighborhoods most affected to ask their permission, but took the easy way out of creating a NIMBY survey of the city.

Can one single neighborhood actually claim it thinks it is a good idea to place 400 people in one building for 24 hours at a cost of $14 million and claim this is the solution? The answer is a resounding “No!”

Keller cannot and should not be considered a hero, just a bully politician who does not think of the welfare of the homeless, residents or businesses but only how he can appease enough folks to get re-elected.

Do we need a shelter in an area already blighted, full of liquor stores and drug dealers? Or a comprehensive and collaborative plan?

Keller wants to destroy a historic city park, skate park for kids, dog park and close Third Street to Downtown as his only solution. This story truly is the tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” He cannot see his own absurdity. It’s time he woke up and got dressed. We will tell him that building a mega shelter with half the money he said he needed, in a city park without truly addressing the real issues of drug addiction and mental health, job rehabilitation and transitional housing for those without behavioral issues is not the real solution.

If he pushes the shelter during a time when people watch their businesses fail, employees struggle, people get sick and die while this city is literally falling apart (under a) lack of leadership, he will not be known as a hero but one of the worst mayors this city has ever had.

We urge him to take the time to allow residential treatment to be built, to collaborate with the county, state and federal government, on the Gabriel’s Village site on South Second next to the Animal Resource Center, which he has hidden from the public. Build a comprehensive site, not just an overnight shelter no one will go to. Let’s truly help those in need while still supporting the businesses and neighborhoods already hurt by our homeless crisis.

Stop social discrimination of a poor, historic neighborhood and businesses that have for so many years called Wells Park home. They count, too – not just those in wealthy neighborhoods, or those who have money, power and clout to deny a shelter while pretending to care about the homeless.

How about let’s be One Albuquerque by helping the homeless while respecting the dignity and honor of residents and businesses who pay taxes and support this city with their hard work and paychecks – you know. mayor, the ones who pay your salary?

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