ABQ homeless population down by 256 - Albuquerque Journal

ABQ homeless population down by 256

With legs protruding from a tent, homeless people earlier this month take refuge from the midday sun at an encampment near Utah and Zuni SE. (Roberto E. Rosales, Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2022 Albuquerque Journal

There were 256 fewer homeless people in Albuquerque in January 2022 than in January 2021, according to a just-released report summarizing the Point-In-Time count.

The PIT count was done by the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness on Jan. 31. It is a snapshot of a single night showing where people experiencing both unsheltered and sheltered homelessness slept that night. The cold weather that day may have resulted in a lower homeless count.

Of Albuquerque’s 1,311 homeless, 940 stayed in emergency shelter, 174 were in “transitional housing” and 197 were unsheltered.

The federal department of Housing and Urban Development requires the count be conducted by communities across the country that accept federal funds for homelessness programs.

The report showed that, among the unsheltered homeless, 67% were chronically homeless; 9% were veterans; 46% reported serious mental illness; and 44% reported a substance use disorder.

Asked why they didn’t use the emergency shelter system, the most common answers included a lack of transportation, overcrowding at the shelters, a fear of getting COVID and concerns about the shelter staff.

The report also noted what it called “racial disparities” of the homeless, particularly Native Americans.

Among Albuquerque’s unsheltered population, more than 23% were Native American; more than 9% were Black; and more than 17% identified as being of two or more races. Among those staying in emergency shelters, nearly 15% were Native American and more than 9% were Black.

In the areas outside Albuquerque, identified as “Balance of State” or BOS, just over 28% of the unsheltered homeless were Native American and more than 5% were Black; of the sheltered BOS homeless, nearly 15% were Native American and 9.7% were Black.

The 2020 Census reports that Native Americans account for about 11.2% of New Mexico’s population, while the Black population accounts for 2.7% of the state’s population.

According to the PIT summary report, the reliability of the homeless count “can be influenced by many factors, such as number of enumerators, community engagement, understanding of training, location, and time of survey and weather.”

In addition, the data is self-reported directly from those homeless people willing to participate in the survey.

Tony Watkins, the coalition’s director for homeless assistance, said cold temperatures on Jan. 31 were a factor in this year’s count.

The Albuquerque Department of Family and Community Services, which partners with the coalition on homeless issues, said of the report: “We always appreciate new data from the Point-In-Time count, but we know that it’s an undercount. We need to base our services and solutions on the situation today, not yesterday, or six months ago when the count was taken.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » ABQ homeless population down by 256


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Ian lashes South Carolina as Florida's death toll climbs
ABQnews Seeker
A revived Hurricane Ian pounded coastal ... A revived Hurricane Ian pounded coastal South Carolina on Friday, ripping apart piers and flooding streets after the ferocious storm caused catastrophic damage in ...
2
Man found guilty in 2019 shooting death
ABQnews Seeker
Police: Argument outside woman's house led ... Police: Argument outside woman's house led to fight
3
Federal judge bars IDing defendant as SNM gang member
ABQnews Seeker
Man convicted on firearms charges Man convicted on firearms charges
4
Prep football: Cibola stays unbeaten, tops Atrisco Heritage
ABQnews Seeker
For the first time in a ... For the first time in a month, no comeback was required for the Cibola Cougars. Cibola has been living on the edge in recent ...
5
Lawsuit filed after in-custody death in McKinley County
ABQnews Seeker
Suit denounces incident as a ‘violent ... Suit denounces incident as a ‘violent and abhorrent killing’
6
Visitor center now completed, but not yet unlocked
ABQnews Seeker
Route 66 Visitor Center is ribbon-cut ... Route 66 Visitor Center is ribbon-cut ready, but won't open until 2023
7
Two MDC officers testify in their trial over inmate's ...
ABQnews Seeker
Each is charged with involuntary manslaughter, ... Each is charged with involuntary manslaughter, faces 1-2 years in prison
8
Lujan Grisham rescinds six pandemic-related executive orders
ABQnews Seeker
Move is part of a periodic ... Move is part of a periodic review of COVID-19 mitigation measures
9
Albuquerque Aloft continues to thrill students
ABQnews Seeker
Some 179 balloons were inflated at ... Some 179 balloons were inflated at about 116 schools in and around the city