She said the hotel is spending around $ 20,000 a month on 24/7 security, but that’s not enough.
“It got worse and the homeless got a little more violent. Begging our customers in the parking lot, you know, entering the hotel,” Jones said.
She and another hotelier in the same downtown area – from the Suburban Extended Stay off Menaul – raised their concerns to Albuquerque City Council last week.
“It started the summer hanging around, I caught young people on our stairs doing drugs, I find needles on the property,” said Veronica Hermann, operations manager of Suburban Extended Stay.
“It’s not the lasting impression we should have on the families and travelers who pass through our state,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, the city’s newest branch of public safety, Albuquerque Community Safety, is working to address some of these issues. Respondents have answered more than 500 calls since the branch was established in early September.
“Our police and fire department have for many years been heavily overused for situations that have a history and underlying mental and behavioral health issues,” said Mariela Ruiz-Angel, director of the community safety department. .
Ruiz-Angel said a large percentage of those calls so far have been about the homeless population.
“It has allowed us to really be with these communities and to really work with these families. Really even to help with the basic necessities that they need like food and water,” said Ruiz-Angel.
But stakeholders are also realizing that housing may be just one of the many resources people need.
“We really try to look at it from ‘what do we need to tackle first’ even though we put someone in housing if they can’t take it because they have mental or behavioral issues. , that would immediately put him back on the streets, ”Ruiz-Angel said.
The department is actively hiring and plans to have more units on the street soon. Jones can’t wait to see the effects of their work in his part of town.
“It’s really heartbreaking to say to our guests, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry you had that experience when you passed through Albuquerque,” Jones said.
The recently passed public safety bond includes $ 7 million in funding for an Albuquerque community safety center in the International District. Stakeholders will be based there, and it will be open to the community.