Homeless shelter opening delayed


“We have encountered some unexpected delays with the construction,” said the Governor’s coordinator on homelessness, Scott Morishige.

A family homeless shelter in Kakaako that was slated to open in February has hit some speedbumps.

“During the process of the renovations we encountered a sewer pumps that needs to be prepared and it is taking a little bit longer than normal, but we are still trying to proceed as quickly as possible,” said Morishige.

While the the work will continue this is only a minor roadblock, the bigger issue is how much it will cost to operate the shelter and where that money will come from. So far the money has not been approved by the legislature and the money being looked at would only cover half the operating costs.

“The administrations executive budget requires $900,000 for the family assessment center,” said Morishige. “The senate version of the bill included half that amount $450,000, but as I said we are in the middle of the session it is not yet complete.”

While Morishige remains hopeful that they will get the money for the Kakaako Shelter. He is also keeping an eye on other bills aimed to help the homeless.

Representative Chris Lee drafted a measure to help the homeless as well.

“This is something the city of Albuquerque has done and literally picks people up panhandling on the side of the road and allows them to work for the day, earn a few dollars, a meal, a hot shower and get some services that they might need,” said Lee.

As for the overall homeless crisis Lee says more funding and resources can only help.

“There is a lot being done and a lot of steps being taken, but because this is a pervasive problem the more funding we can put toward it the more support we can get.”

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