New Mexico Supreme Court hears arguments on clearing homeless encampments
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — While the homeless camp at Coronado Park is gone, the city is dealing with more problems as homeless camps pop up in other parts of town.
A court ruling limited how the city can clear camps like the one near the Gateway Center.
While the city sent out clean-up crews Tuesday, some people at the camp say they weren’t given the proper legal notice.
City officials say they always offer to take someone on the streets to a shelter, and they have never had all the beds full at the Westside Shelter.
However, civil rights attorneys argue Albuquerque’s own numbers indicate the amount of homeless people far surpasses the amount of available shelter beds.
Now, the issue of how and when the city can clear homeless camps is in-front of the state Supreme Court.
While Chief Justice Shannon Bacon noted there are hundreds of people who simply cannot afford housing, and are not choosing to be homeless, she also questioned why the state Supreme Court is hearing this at all.
City of Albuquerque officials say they were following their own policy on how and when to remove homeless camps.
That policy was challenged in court, and District Judge Joshua Allison set rules for how the city removes the camp. That case is far from settled.
In fact, there’s an evidence hearing still scheduled to sort out the facts.