Homelessness: A growing issue impacting Santa Fe
October 26, 2018 06:51 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— Colder temperatures are causing homeless shelters in Santa Fe to fill up.
Joseph Jordan-Berenis, executive director of the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete's Place, said 88 of their 123 beds were full Thursday night.
"We're seeing about the average of what we saw all last winter season," he said.
Julia Castro, who owns Cafe Castro with her husband, next door to the shelter, is concerned about some homeless people causing problems.
"It's an everyday thing that I have to deal with,” said Castro. “But I deal with it because these are our homeless and this is my community and this is where I work and operate. Some of these people are my customers."
Jordan-Berenis said he’s aware of the concerns, but he added that he can't control what happens off the shelter’s property.
"Sometimes we will call. The police just to do a drive by and sort of disperse people and things like that because I understand the issue," he said.
Some homeless people are bypassing the shelters and seeking other places to stay.
"People who live along these arroyos, they call it the homeless highway,” said David Rippey, who lives about a mile and a half away from the shelter.
He showed KOB 4 the remains of homeless camps by an arroyo near his neighborhood, where he said he frequently cleans up used drug needles, trash and clothes.
"Some of the stuff we pick up gets laundered, folded, taken back to Pete's Place, or taken back to the other shelter in town,” said Rippey. “People need to live. They're going to do what they need to survive."
Santa Fe police recently carried out two operations along Cerrillos Road, stepping up patrols to focus on property crime and disorderly conduct.
Officers will also offer assistance and resources to homeless in need.
Updated: October 26, 2018 06:51 PM
Created: October 26, 2018 06:27 PM
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