Santa Fe considers sanctioned homeless camp at midtown campus

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Cities across the country have experienced an uptick in their homeless population, and Santa Fe is no exception.

One proposal under consideration by the city council is to use part of the midtown campus as a homeless camp. 

“Do we want, as a community, to try and help what we are seeing, which is growth in our homeless population?” said Carol Romero-Wirth, a councilor for District 2. “Or do we not, do we want to let people camp where ever they want to and just keep moving them around?”

At a recent city council meeting, midtown was suggested as a sanctioned encampment place. 

“It’s close to Consuelo’s Place, where we already have wraparound services to help people, so the proximity would be good,” Romero-Wirth said.

Romero said the city has spent around $3.6 million moving unsanctioned camp sites and it’s not doing anyone any favors. 

If that problem is solved at midtown, it would only be a temporary solution to a difficult problem. 

“The idea is that this is a temporary, sanctioned place where people that are homeless to live, something like, I think the idea has been thrown out for something like a year while we work on a longer term solution,” Romero-Wirth said. 

Another thing the councilor stressed is that the city is not abandoning developing midtown into an economic center for Santa Fe, she said many of their plans to revitalize the area are underway.