City of Roswell narrows down two new locations for tent city

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s not just a problem in the Albuquerque metro, a tent city has popped up in southeast New Mexico.

Now, the city of Roswell is trying to figure out where to re-locate it. A committee of five city councilors has been busy finding a new location for a tent city. They are looking for an area to place up to 50 tents.

This week, they narrowed down their choices. They are looking to get the homeless out of the Berrendo Creek area.

“I don’t think any area would be the perfect one, there are always concerns,” said City Councilor Juan Oropesa.

The city says the Berrendo Creek area is just too dangerous and they’re worried about people dying if there’s a flood, so they’ve come up with two options where the campers can re-locate.

“We went through the analysis and even though we have all of our scoring criteria, we’ve looked at, it seems like dozens of places. There really isn’t a perfect place,” explained City Planning Manager Bill Morris.

A proposed location near 12th and Virginia is the top pick.

“There are things that are accessible to them, the transportation is accessible,” Oropesa said.

Although the location is near a food kitchen and public transportation, not everyone likes that idea.

City Councilor Jeanine Best was the only opposing vote at Tuesday night’s meeting when the location was discussed.

She believes the homeless should be placed elsewhere.

“That is out on Main Streets where tourists can see them. Again, I repeat, tourists are a paycheck to the citizens of Roswell.”

“Obviously we are concerned about how the visitors look at Roswell, but homelessness is an issue we have to deal with,” Oropesa said.

The second option would be on North Grand and East College near Wool Bowl Stadium. Neighbors don’t want the tent set up there either.

“We’re 100 percent against it, but we live here. I know there has to be a place for them, but I don’t know if right in the middle of town would be a good one,” said Darwin Miller, a resident near the proposed area.

The city says a tent city is just a temporary solution. They are looking at locations such as the old meat packing plant to build tiny homes in the future. The city says it will decide on the new tent city location at next week’s meeting.

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