City councilor responds to mental illness issue among homeless

Updated: 04/13/2014 6:01 PM | Created: 04/13/2014 5:53 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An Albuquerque city councilor is responding to the issue of mental illness among the homeless.

The subject was sparked by James Boyd’d death last month.

City Councilor Isaac Benton says Boyd went unnoticed and was not helped.

Benton wants to focus on the programs that could have helped him.

The council is currently reviewing next year’s budget.

Benton says money is tight, but they cannot afford to ignore homelessness and mental health issues in Albuquerque.

His goal is to improve treatment for substance abuse and mental illness—specifically in the corrections system.

Benton is asking for support from other city councilors.

He says Boyd’s death highlights the needs of the city.

“It didn't seem as though he had very many human contact with many people, much less our social service providers,” Benton said.

Benton adds that four years ago, the budget to these programs was cut and were only partially restored.

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