Albuquerque, NM

Opinion: The City of Albuquerque Has Approved Its First Safe Outdoor Space

Daniella Cressman

"The city Planning Department has given a green light to the first safe outdoor space in Albuquerque." —Jessica Dyer

Dawn Legacy Pointe's application for a new campsite on Menaul near I-25 has now been approved.

"Dawn Legacy Pointe’s application for a new campsite on Menaul near Interstate 25 has been approved, according to the city’s website." —Jessica Dyer

Brad Day, a local businessman consulting Dawn Legacy Point, has indicated that the site will likely be ready for occupants in the next 30-45 days.

"Brad Day, a local businessman consulting Dawn Legacy Pointe, said the site could be ready for tenants in the next 30-45 days. It is approved for 40 spots and up to 50 occupants." —Jessica Dyer

However, this approval has come mere days before City Council—which did vote for safe outdoor spaces in June—may now vote to outlaw them.

"The approval comes just days before the City Council — which in June approved safe outdoor spaces — will vote on legislation intended to outlaw them." —Jessica Dyer

Safe outdoor spaces are simply managed, organized lots with a certain number of amenities where people who are homeless can sleep overnight in their tents or vehicles.

"Safe outdoor spaces are organized, managed lots where people who are homeless can sleep overnight in tents or vehicles. Because of the City Council’s June vote, they are now allowed under Albuquerque zoning code if they meet certain requirements. They must provide tenants with toilets, showers, handwashing stations and must also submit for the city’s review a copy of their management plan or security agreement that indicates the site has 24/7 support. The code limits them to two in each of the city’s nine council districts, but the cap does not apply to religious institutions." —Jessica Dyer

While it is essential in my view that the homeless population has the ability wash their hands and take a shower, the ultimate goal is to provide them with the support they need during this difficult time in their lives until they can find stable housing.

Honestly, it seems that each and every homeless person should have access to some form of housing, basic medical care, rehabilitative services, and food—It is difficult to get back on your feet when you are starving and this would likely help a lot of people meet their basic needs so that they can reenter the workforce or, at the very least, overcome any addictions they may be facing.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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