In what can only be called a big change of heart at Albuquerque’s City Council, a 6-3 majority changed directions and instituted a one year moratorium on “safe spaces” for the so-called homeless at Monday’s meeting. While the “safe spaces” concept has potential, it cannot be the only approach taken by the City of Albuquerque to address the issue. Enforcement of rules against camping in public parks, panhandling, and crime issues MUST be undertaken as part of any effort to create “safe spaces.”
Unfortunately and somewhat shockingly, the City Council failed to redirect $250,000 the Council “donated” to Planned Parenthood recently. The funds would have been redirected to Barrett House shelter, which aids women and children experiencing homelessness. Instead, Council kept the $250,000 in place while also handing an additional $100,000 to Barrett House and $100,000 to a community energy efficiency project.
City officials claim the City’s “contract” with Planned Parenthood covers only certain health care services, such as breast exams, cancer screening and testing for sexually transmitted diseases. The Planned Parenthood funding and additional funding was supported by a 5-4 majority that included Trudy Jones.