It is difficult to miss the articles and editorials in The Santa Fe New Mexican and other media outlets reporting about Harrison Road, the street that abuts the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place.

Over the past year, the situation on Harrison Road has become a serious concern for businesses and homes around the shelter and for the shelter itself, as we try to provide life-saving services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Harrison Road has increasingly become a place where people who feel they have nowhere else to go have chosen to set up camp, and tents often line the road. The encampments have become a health and safety issue for the neighborhood.

The situation that has evolved seems to be the direct result of two different forces that have come together in a perfect storm: the COVID-19 pandemic and the fentanyl crisis.

Len Rand is board chairman of the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place. He has been a longtime volunteer at the shelter and bakes cookies for the guests from his kitchen every Tuesday.

Popular in the Community