Homeless Population in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Different states in the USA have been facing problems associated with homeless people in the neighborhoods. New Mexico is one of the areas in the USA that has various individuals struggling with homelessness. Moreover, some of the homeless people are found in Albuquerque in New Mexico. Homelessness in Albuquerque is a vital issue of concern. However, the mayor of Albuquerque has made efforts to help reduce the number of the homeless people in the neighborhoods. While residents in Albuquerque complain about security issues placing most of the blame on the homeless individuals, the homeless people are also complaining that they do not feel safe in Albuquerque.
The last survey done in 2015 found that approximately 1,287 individuals were homeless in Albuquerque (Rick Nathanson | Journal Staff Writer Paragraph 4). The homeless individuals are in a crisis. This is because they are exposed to numerous problems in the society. For instance, the safety and security of the homeless people are threatened. As they sleep in open areas, the homeless populations in Albuquerque are exposed to dangerous situations such as theft and abuse from malicious individuals. The safety and security of the homeless population is not the only trouble they struggle with, in Albuquerque but also community resources.
Albuquerque has a homeless crisis or problem. The majority of the homeless population lack access to community resources. These people struggle as they try to access care facilities, social amenities and affordable housing. As such, they end up facing numerous difficulties while on the streets. Further, most of the homeless individuals in Albuquerque lack adequate finances to utilize to access the resources in the society.
Homeless populations in Albuquerque struggle to obtain basic needs such as food, water, clothing, and shelter. The majority of the homeless individuals sleep in open areas such as parks (“Neighbors: Homeless People Sleeping in Northeast Albuquerque Park, a Problem” Paragraph 2). Others sleep in abandoned buildings that are not safe. On the other hand, the majority of the homeless people go for long periods without food. The homeless populations are hungry most of the times. They also lack clean water for drinking and cleaning themselves. In addition to struggling to obtain basic needs, homeless populations in Albuquerque are forced to experience harsh weather conditions.
The majority of the homeless individuals spend their nights in shelters and tents that are not strong to hander harsh weather conditions. Thus, they have to struggle in the harsh climates as well as suffer the consequences of being exposed to insecurities in the streets. Most of these homeless people believe that others do not understand their situations. They claim that people should try living in shelters or tents in bad weather conditions to understand the dangers they have to go through on a daily basis. The reason for the complaint from the homeless people is due to other individuals seeing them as a threat.
People living in safe and secure buildings tend to associate homeless people with insecurities and crimes in the community. These people feel that they are not safe being in a place where the homeless individuals are sleeping or residing in because they are worried that the homeless populations are responsible for crimes in the society. On the contrary, the homeless people tend to feel that they are also not safe in open places (Dimanche Paragraph 3). The problem of homelessness in Albuquerque continues to be a crisis due to various issues in the community.
It is imperative to understand that most of the homeless populations in Albuquerque are the unemployed persons and mentally handicapped. Also, people with physical disability and others who are medically fragile make up the homeless population in Albuquerque. Further, people with addiction problems are among the homeless individuals in Albuquerque. As such, it is evident that homelessness is a crisis in Albuquerque and a major issue that should be addressed. It is imperative to understand that ethnicity, immigration, and gender identify influences the composition of homeless individuals in Albuquerque.
Immigrants with distinct ethnicity or backgrounds from the individuals in Albuquerque are among the homeless population. The problem of homelessness in Albuquerque can be reduced by providing affordable and permanent housing for the homeless individuals (“How Many Are Homeless in ABQ?” Paragraph 6). The mayor of Albuquerque, Richard Berry, has made efforts to help the homeless individuals. By utilizing the home initiative aimed to provide permanent places of residence for the homeless individuals, the mayor tries to reduce the crisis in Albuquerque.
Currently, the home initiative managed by the mayor of Albuquerque has placed approximately 650 homeless individuals in housing. The initiative is centered on helping the homeless people with chronic and medical challenges. This initiative has been a benefit to New Mexico since it saves a lot of money for the taxpayers. The problem of homelessness in Albuquerque is a major issue of concern. It is an expensive cost to New Mexico and in particular the taxpayers.
The University of New Mexico conducted a study on the problem of homeless. Based on the findings from the survey done by the university it came out that placing the homeless populations in housing is cheaper as opposed to leaving these people on the streets to struggle with problems of insecurity and harsh weather conditions. The home initiative is believed to save approximately $5 million for the taxpayers. This is because for each $1invested in the home initiative in Albuquerque there are about $1.78 returns saved.
In general, homelessness is defined as a condition that is influenced by lack of adequate finances to cater for housing. It is also caused by poverty and the limited number of affordable housing. Critical steps should be taken to help the vulnerable populations in Albuquerque. For instance, the city council of Albuquerque has taken initiatives to assist the homeless individuals (Anita Cordova Paragraph 2). In addition to the approach by the mayor to assist the vulnerable populations, the city council has enacted an act centered on workforce housing. The initiatives by the mayor and city council of Albuquerque are aimed at preventing the problems or consequences resulting from homelessness.
The problem of homelessness in Albuquerque brings about other major crisis in the community that affects New Mexico. People in New Mexico struggle to find affordable and stable housing. Further, the problem of homelessness has contributed to poor health among the people of New Mexico. Thus, if the problem is not resolved the health and wellbeing of the people will not improve. In addition to a decline in health and stable housing New Mexico also faces other problems associated with homelessness.
A decline in economic security is experienced in New Mexico due to homelessness. Homelessness also threatens the political will of Albuquerque. It also affects the will of the people. Further, the citizens of New Mexico continue to feel threatened by the homeless people since they fear that their security and safety is compromised. As such, by implementing strategies to overcome the problem of homelessness in Albuquerque, New Mexico can be free from the other issues of insecurity, political will, poor health and economic insecurities.
Also, the homeless population in Albuquerque is at an increased risk of death. The limited access to community resources such as health services and exposure to harsh weather conditions exposes the homeless individuals to death. Therefore, if the problem is not addressed, New Mexico is likely to struggle with the issue of increased mortality rates. It is evident that homelessness in Albuquerque is a major crisis that contributes to other problems in New Mexico. Homeless populations in New Mexico particularly in Albuquerque struggle with problems such as poverty, limited access to social amenities and security issues. Thus, measures implemented by the mayor and city council such as increasing the number of housing that is affordable and permanent for the people.
News articles reporting results from a survey done on the number of homeless individuals show that Albuquerque has approximately 1,287 persons without permanent shelter. The majority of these individuals struggle with poverty and limited access to affordable housing. As such, these individuals are left with an option of sleeping or staying in open areas such as parks and on the streets. The homeless individuals are exposed to dangers such as insecurity and bad weather conditions. If the problem of homelessness in Albuquerque is not addressed, it will become a major crisis issue in the entire state of New Mexico. Therefore, measures or strategies should be implemented to help the vulnerable populations who are homeless by providing affordable housing that is also permanent to the people in Albuquerque.
Homelessness is a critical issue of concern in Albuquerque. It affects the lives of all the people in Albuquerque including the homeless and the individuals living in permanent places. The homeless individuals comprising of the addicts, mentally disabled and unemployed individuals find it hard to get permanent places of residence. This is because the majority of the houses in Albuquerque are not affordable and hence the vulnerable populations are left to struggle and live in open areas. However, if measures and initiatives are put in place to provide affordable housing, the problem of homelessness in Albuquerque can be resolved.
“How Many Are Homeless in ABQ?” New Mexico News Port, 5 May 2015, www.newmexiconewsport.com/homeless/.
“Neighbors: Homeless People Sleeping in Northeast Albuquerque Park, a Problem.” KRQE News 13, 18 June 2017, krqe.com/2017/06/17/neighbors-homeless-people-sleeping-in-northeast-albuquerque-park-a-problem/.
Anita Cordova | Albuquerque Health Care For The Homeless And Wade Patterson | Albuquerque Affordable Housing Coalition. “OPINION | Critical Step Needed to Impact ABQ’s Homelessness.” Albuquerque Journal | New Mexico and ABQ News, Sports, Business and More, www.abqjournal.com/547030/critical-step-needed-to-impact-abqs-homelessness.html.
Dimanche, Kay. “Homeless Population Say They Don’t Feel Safe in Albuquerque.” KOAT, 10 July 2017, www.koat.com/article/homeless-people-say-they-dont-feel-safe-in-albuquerque/10283507.
Rick Nathanson | Journal Staff Writer. “Albuquerque Counts the Homeless.” Albuquerque Journal | New Mexico and ABQ News, Sports, Business and More, www.abqjournal.com/936113/counting-the-homeless.html.