ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque is taking a new step to head off police confrontations like the one that claimed the life of homeless camper.
Mayor R.J. Berry announced Tuesday funding for an outreach coordinator for the mentally ill and homeless.
The coordinator will be based at St. Martin’s Hospitality Center, which works with the homeless. The coordinator will be responsible for connecting homeless people and the mentally ill with treatment and housing.
The goal is to avoid the kinds of crisis that bring them into contact with police.
“If we can help individuals stay out of crisis, and avoid situations where individuals in crisis are coming into contact with public safety providers, this is going to be a meaningful change,” Mayor Berry said.
The coordinator will be part of a team of three master’s level mental health professionals. Their goal will be to connect people with services within 72 hours.
St. Martin’s Hospitality Center is one of the largest providers of services for the homeless.
They serve more than 4,000 people.
The shooting of James Boyd in the Foothills in March sparked a series of anti-police demonstrations.