Neighbors concerned about homeless camps ahead of Balloon Fiesta | KOB 4
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Neighbors concerned about homeless camps ahead of Balloon Fiesta

Ryan Laughlin
September 23, 2019 10:48 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— With the Balloon Fiesta right around the corner, some people are worried about the amount of homeless camps that are scattered across the city.

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The KOB 4 team went to check out one of those camps on the fringes of Los Altos Park near Lomas and I-40 after seeing a cloud of smoke from the freeway.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue was on the scene. A firefighter told KOB 4 that they respond to fires like these all the time.

Elijah Saiz works at the car dealership near the park and he said the fire caught him off guard.

"We see them up over Los Altos park area, but this was a huge surprise to us," Saiz said.

Saiz said seeing homeless people come and go in the area is not new, but he had no idea the camp was so close to where he works.

"Then they see this mess over here, you know, I guess it's kind of disheartening to the businesses around the area and a lot of the people who live in the area as well," Saiz said.

The Department of Solid Waste sent KOB 4 a statement Sunday that said there is a big push to clean up the city ahead of Balloon Fiesta, but they are more focused on the area near Balloon Fiesta Park and I-25.

City officials said they have cleaned up 180 homeless camps during the last fiscal year, and they respond to complaints about homeless camps within 48 hours.

It is unclear if there was ever a complaint filed about the camp underneath the overpass at I-40 and Lomas.

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Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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