Homeowners on Harrison Road in central Santa Fe have long complained about myriad problems they say come from living close to the Interfaith Community Shelter for the homeless, also known as Pete’s Place, on Cerrillos Road.
On Monday, the city Finance Committee made a funding recommendation to try to ease their concerns.
The committee of five City Council members recommended allocating about $172,000 from $6.5 million in savings the city achieved amid a budget crisis to fully fund a $400,000 lighting and sidewalk improvement project on Harrison Road. The savings came from delaying other capital projects.
“It’s just dangerous,” City Councilor Signe Lindell said. “The residents there have put up with this for years. Really, they’ve borne the hardship of the shelter for the entire city.”
Pete’s Place has housed the homeless, primarily through volunteers, for years, she said.
“I’m not being critical about Pete’s,” Lindell said. “It’s the circumstances and how this has spilled over into the neighborhood.”
When residents call police, she said, “they don’t get an acceptable response time, and that adds to the urgency of having lights on Harrison Road. I mean, nothing’s changed on Harrison Road other than it’s gotten worse.”
The funding recommendation comes after Mayor Alan Webber and city councilors received a scathing email from a Harrison Road resident who said neighbors’ complaints have fallen on deaf ears at City Hall and elsewhere.
“Now we are receiving death threats for asking those people who are defecating, urinating, sleeping, dealing drugs, and generally using our property for their general convenience to leave,” Susan Guevara wrote to the governing body Aug. 24.