The Albuquerque City Council voted on and passed the Safe Outdoor Spaces ordinance, which is an initiative to make a dedicated space for the homeless population of the city, Monday night.
A 5-4 vote with Councilor Trudy Jones along with Councilor’s Isaac Benton, Brooke Bassan, Tammy Fiebelkorn and Pat Davis were in favor.
The council has been discussing the proposal for the last few months, and at the Monday meeting the majority of people voiced their concern during public comment opposing the plan.
People have also voiced their concerns that the homeless population not only reside in parks and sides of the freeway now but have heavily been taking over neighborhood alleyways and even attempting to sleep in residents’ yards and private properties in certain areas of the city.
The Safe Outdoor Spaces project would give the homeless a government-sanctioned place where they can access power, water and be able to use bathroom facilities in addition to having drug treatment and mental health programs. It will also provide a guarded and monitored place to temporarily reside.
Monday’s resolution calls for a limit on two such spaces per council district.
Although city shelters tend to have more than 150 beds free during the summer months, many homeless avoid shelters, and outdoor spaces have been proposed before with little traction.
The proposal will now go to the mayor’s office and, if passed, locations for the space will be introduced in the next coming months.