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City of Santa Fe reverts back to camping ban for people facing homelessness

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The city of Santa Fe announced at the end of August it will bring back a no-camping policy that prohibits sleeping in parks. With around 150 people unhoused on the streets of Santa Fe each night, the city will also begin strategizing to meet the needs of that community.

Sheltering people who are unhoused has been an ongoing challenge for the city of Santa Fe but during the height of the pandemic, Mayor Alan Webber, following CDC guidelines, issued an emergency proclamation that prevented the clearing of encampments. Now with the number of COVID cases decreasing, the city has decided to reinstate the no-camping policy.

Park rangers will be enforcing the policy and working to connect unsheltered people to resources. The city announced it will be offering seasonal overnight beds ahead of schedule at shelters like Pete’s Place.

This comes after a proposed plan to create a safe outdoor space at the Midtown Campus was abandoned due to significant community pushback. An indoor shelter in a former dormitory still remains open on campus.

Kyra Ochoa is director of the Community Health and Safety Department and said the community needs to do more.

"When some of our most in need folks are unable to be housed. It's painful for everyone and I think Santa Fe is a very compassionate community," Ochoa said.

Ochoa said Santa Fe officials, residents and people who are unhoused need to come together to find a solution.

"I think part of what we need to do is continue to have those kinds of productive conversations. So that we can get at the complexity of what is causing homelessness in our community. "

Santa Fe Shelter/ Emergency Housing:

St. Elizabeth Shelters & Supportive Housing
804 Alarid Street, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Interfaith Shelter at Pete's Place
2801 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87507

The Life Link
2325 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87505

Esperanza Shelter and Domestic Abuse Services 
3130 Rufina Street, Santa Fe, NM 87507

Youth Shelters and Family Services 
5686 B Agua Fria ST, Santa Fe, NM 87507

Jeanette DeDios is from the Jicarilla Apache and Diné Nations and grew up in Albuquerque, NM. She recently graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2022 where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Journalism, English and Film. She’s currently a part of the Local News Fund Fellowship where she will be working with KUNM-FM and NMPBS during her 9-month fellowship where she will gain hands-on newsroom experience. Jeanette can be contacted at jeanettededios@kunm.org or via Twitter @JeanetteDeDios.
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