Fifth ‘Tent City’ pops up outside city limits

BERNALILLO COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Tent city is back, it’s big and neighbors who live near it are pushing for something to be done.

This time, campers have set up in an arroyo in the mayor’s neck of the woods, near Four Hills.

“Tent City” has popped up all around Albuquerque. To see exactly where it is or where it has been in the past, view the Albuquerque Tent City Map. 

“This is something that needs to be taken care of immediately,” Albert Wenzelburger said.

In the thick brush sits a small make-shift town.

“I don’t know how comfortably we can all coexist,” Jein Kan said.

“Not too pleased is putting it mildly,” Wenzelburger added.

Just east of Four Hills, dozens of tents and people are living in the arroyo.

“Well, we started getting rumors of it last Friday,” Wenzelburger said.

Albert Wenzelburger doesn’t live too far away from the tent city. “We kind of expected as soon as the city cracked down on the homeless camps downtown, we’d see some increases here.”

This time, it’s outside city limits, making it a county issue. The sheriff’s department said it won’t force campers out.

Jein Kan doesn’t like that. “It’s an uncomfortable situation,” she said. “It’s really just a very short, short run up the arroyo.”

BCSO said they’ve warned campers about behaving themselves. At one point, roughly 100 people were camped out here.

KRQE News 13 walked down to the camp site to see if anybody living here would talk to us, but nobody wanted to go on camera. However, they do have a list of rules posted including no stealing, no fighting and no drugs or alcohol.

One man at the new tent city told News 13 they are a continuation of the four previous ones which were given the boot from city and state land.

“It’s very sad to not have anywhere to go,” Kan said.

Neighbors said they’re used to seeing the homeless at nearby Singing Arrow Park but nothing like this.

“It’s a tough situation,” Kan said. “They’re hungry, they’re tired, they need a place to lie down.”

Kan, and others, wish something permanent could be set up for the campers somewhere else.

“I think with those problems and the desperation that’s involved, people do turn to crime.”

The city said the camp is very close to city limits and if it spills over, they’ll step in.

Another concern at the new tent city is what happens if those campers are still in the arroyo when the next big rain comes.

The sheriff’s department said it’s doing welfare checks on the campers and working with other agencies to come up with a solution for the people of tent city.

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