Downtown business owners fed up with nasty problem

Created: 06/09/2014 8:39 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A downtown business owner posted this video online, showing what he has to deal with every day.

In the video you can see homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk, piles of trash, used drug needles and even evidence of fires. The more graphic pictures show feces on walls. KOB went out to the historic Barelas Neighborhood near the Albuquerque Rescue Mission, where the business owner says the problems are. Someone posted a sign near an alley that gives you an idea of what's happening - and it's not a pretty picture. The sign asks people not to urinate or defecate in the alley.

Peter Collins walks to work in the area and sees it every day.

"Under the bridges people are defecating on the side, just sitting on the wall, letting it come out,” he said.

Collins said it's not just gross, it's bad for businesses when customers have to walk past it.

"I wouldn't want to go to any businesses with that outside,” he said. “With defecation outside."

KOB Eyewitness News 4 reached out to the city said it said it's aware of the problem. But there's not a quick or easy solution.

“We have found that sometimes port-a-potties add to the problem," said Gilbert Montano, the mayor’s chief of staff. The city said the solution lies in helping homeless people get off the street. It's also looking at relocating some of the places that feed the homeless.

"So we're not displacing the homeless,” said Montano. “We're still being sympathetic and helping them with their needs. But maybe they're not centralized in one certain area."

The Rescue Mission told KOB it is also aware of the problem and looking for solutions like relocating some of its services. But the shelter said it can’t control what people do when they leave the property.

To report any mess on city property that you’d like to see cleaned up, you can dial 311.

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