Homeless Coordinating Council meets to brainstorm solutions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Bernalillo County’s Homeless Coordinating Council met Tuesday morning and discussed what could be a new, winning strategy.

“We have so much studies, what we really need is action. We don’t need studies and studies and studies and more studies,” said Aaron Moore, Bernalillo County resident.

Albuquerque’s Family and Community Services Department estimates there’s roughly 1,100 unhoused people every night, and about a third of those are on the streets.

The city and county are both brainstorming solutions – including new shelters and housing projects – but officials admit the ball could be moving faster.

"What really is frustrating both to our respected elected officials is how long it takes to get these projects out the door, and how do we create a process where we can streamline some of them to get them done quickly,” said Lawrence Rael, CABQ chief operations officer.

Members of the homeless coordinating council are pushing to create a multi-governmental group to oversee projects in the metro. They said one unified voice could really help secure funding from state lawmakers.

"I’ve talked to legislators and they’ve really in favor of this for obvious reason, they’re tugged in all these different directions, and we’re all trying to do the same things and ask for our own pots of money,” said Julie Morgas Baca, Bernalillo County manager.

One resident even suggested bringing on a single project manager. But Albuquerque leaders said solving homelessness is not that simple.

"There’s not one solution, it’s multiple factors, and that’s why we always like to talk, it’s about a system. The city has a role, the county has a role, our faith-based organizations have roles and our nonprofit organizations,” said Carol Pierce, director of CABQ Family and Community Services Department.