Evictions awaiting Tent City holdouts

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque has won a victory in its effort to clear out Tent City, and now it will turn to legal means to get everyone out of the downtown camp.

An attorney earlier tried to stop the city from removing homeless residents.

“The TRO, the Temporary Restraining Order, filed by an attorney, was denied by the judge, which gives grounds to move forward through the eviction and continue to clean up that area and focus on helping those who need it the most,” said Gilbert Montano, chief of staff for Mayor R.J. Berry.

On Monday, the city says it will issue warnings. Signs entitled “Three-Day Notice to Vacate City Property” will be posted in the downtown area near First and Iron.

While Tent City is shrinking in size, the city said some homeless residents have refused to accept the help from social services.

Montano said, “So it’s a very small group now. And we hope they desire to move on before we start down this path.”

The notice warns, “Please consider this your first and last notice to vacate this property.” It explains that anyone who does not heed the three-day warning will face legal consequences. “If you fail to quit or vacate City Property, the City will file a Complaint in Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer in the Metropolitan Court,” the sign indicates.

The city said the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department would handle any evictions.

As sanitation workers threw tents into a garbage truck Friday, protesters recorded video questioning their actions.

“Is that your tent sir?” one man asked. “You know that’s somebody’s home. That’s someone’s home!” he shouted.

The city insists those were abandoned tents left behind by campers who accepted the city’s help and moved on. Still, the group Albuquerque Justice has been critical of the city’s actions.

“As far as any long term solutions, they have been given none. The city has stated that they are giving resources. They are giving no more resources than what is actually here,” said Dinah Vargas with Albuquerque Justice.

“We’ve had almost 50 hotel vouchers provided. We’ve had individual hygiene kits provided. We’ve had about seven different bus tickets desired. We’re handing out city passes. We’ve purchased food for the folks,” Montano said.

The city plans an Innovation Trail for the area, which will link people from the railyards to downtown Albuquerque.

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