After much soul-searching and visiting with everyone involved during the day and night since last August, it became clear to see that Coronado Park just got up and moved itself only one block away. But now with the new doorways cut out of the chain link fences underneath the freeway, it has also extended its claims from the busy liquor store to the area at the northeast end of Mount Calvary Cemetery.
Compared to the number of complaints, law enforcement has seldom been instructed to make someone take down his tent. But even then the tent that was ordered down was put back up again on the very same day and within the same area.
The hypothermia/homicide deaths. The ever-present fentanyl mixed with animal tranquilizers. The countless empty vodka containers. The continual absence of portable toilets. The human and guard dog waste found everywhere. The out-of-control people. The degradation of young women. The stolen bicycles. The illegal fires. The firing off of handguns. And of course the dangerous drugs being transported to and from the city’s homeless shelters at this routine bus stop have all given the green light of normalcy to the new homeless persons arrival from day one.
Concerned citizens have hauled away about 10 pickup truck loads of trash every week without fail. Over 150 used syringes were picked up on one day recently. A new unofficially sanctioned camp area has been knowingly allowed to be established close to the open doors of the city’s nonprofit contractors properties, as was hoped for.
It may be that there will always be those who refuse to believe the danger is increasing. Who can say? In any case it must be said again and still again that this continued allowance of new tent cities will only bring more campers here who have lost their self-control and also further connect the already troubled extended Downtown Business District with the crippled International war zone neighborhoods. Aren’t the struggling small businesspeople in need of protection? Why are their employees frequently on their guard? Why have more people than ever given up on calling the Albuquerque Police Department? Without calls being made and such delayed responses the complete paperwork can’t be there to accurately show Albuquerque’s dangerous conditions.
So back again we go armed only with clothing, food and a large number of available empty beds at our rehabilitation centers. Back we go without the mental health drugs, pipe attachments, fentanyl paper, needles, cookers, or any of the other paraphernalia the city’s contractors constantly supply for the homeless man’s daily use. Back again armed only with the ability given to us to impart sobering conviction and genuine inspiration that can reach the conscience and will of the repeat offender who has been labeled mentally ill. We have found that people from the old sinner to the person who in his mother’s womb can be born again and given a priceless future.
But doesn’t another question need to be answered? How can we say to the new homeless person who has been knocked down, “welcome to New Mexico” when we continue to say with our actions come to Albuquerque and get knocked down to the place where you can’t get up again?