Joy Junction’s mobile trucks barred from serving homeless community in certain areas

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Joy Junction is running out of places to serve the homeless.

“So this lifeline really helps them a lot in many ways that able them to make ends meet," said Elma Reynalds, Executive Director of Joy Junction.

The mobile truck travels the city, offering warm meals and much-needed supplies, like hygiene kits. Despite years of operations, Reynalds said they’ve been struggling to maintain their three daily routes.

“Everyone said like ‘what you’re doing is good’ but can you do it somewhere (else),” said Reynalds.

Joy Junction has been asked to stay away from certain areas including Central and Tramway and Los Altos Park.

A spokesperson for the city said in a statement, "Best practices tell us that food assistance for people experiencing homelessness should be offered at locations where outreach services are available, like the Westside Emergency Housing Center and other areas where service providers operate to provide help to the unhoused.

Family and Community Services Department is currently looking for nonprofits, organizations and volunteers who are interested in cooking and serving meals at the Westside Emergency Housing Center. To find out more information on how to participate, organizations should call 505-768-2860 and ask to speak with Homeless Services.”

Reynalds said banning the services doesn’t make the problem go away.

“It is still the same, even when we’re gone, homeless people are still there,” she said.

Reynalds said by going to those in need, they ensure vulnerable members of the community, including children, are taken care of.

Now they’re left searching for somewhere else to serve.

“A business owner or an empty area who are willing for us to serve in that area we would really, really appreciate that, especially in the northeast area, because we don’t have that now,” said Reynalds.