City Executioners Axe to Fall on Homeless

JReynalds@aol.com
Sun, 20 Jun 1999 17:24:54 EDT


Press Release from Joy Junction:
New Mexico's Largest Emergency Homeless Shelter
Free of ANY Government Funding
Not a United Way member 

For more information contact:
Jeremy Reynalds at Joy Junction.
Tel: (505) 877-6967 or (505) 880-6469
June 18 1999
www.joyjunction.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE			   URGENT!!
	

	We're Thinking about Winter: Are You? 	Now is the Time to Act 

	(Albuquerque, New Mexico) In a thoughtless act of apparent cost 
containment, the City of Albuquerque has stripped St. Martin's Hospitality 
Center of its ability to offer homeless people shelter on cold winter nights.

	Joy Junction Executive Director Jeremy Reynalds said he's hoping that 
somebody will realize the gravity of the situation and take steps to restore 
the funding before the city is faced with a homeless crisis. "We don't need 
to wait til November to move on this. We need to take proactive steps now," 
he said.

	While St. Martin's officials fear for the life of people with nowhere 
else to go during storms, City of Albuquerque official Michael Passi has a 
different opinion. According to local media reports, Passi said city 
officials are hoping that other local shelters will be able to accommodate 
those formerly helped by St. Martin's.

	Reynalds forcefully disagreed. "We were taking a number of 
well-behaved, temporarily disadvantaged single men last year who for one 
reason or another didn't want to go to the city-funded operation for singles 
located at the State Fair Grounds. On cold nights, we were at capacity. 
Perhaps the City of Albuquerque can use the $54,000 requested by St. Martin's 
(that the City claims it can't afford) to pay for 220 funerals. And if we get 
another winter like, say, 1990, that's quite possible."

	Reynalds added that he sympathizes with the frustrations expressed by 
the Wells Park Neighborhood Association but pointed out that even Wells Park 
Neighborhood Association officials don't think that the change is going to 
make the problem go away. "With that in mind, why doesn't the City see if it 
can somehow scrape up the money to fund this valuable service," he said.

	Reynalds said that while Joy Junction is willing to help in any way 
it can, construction would be necessary to increase bed space.  Sadly, 
shelter officials say that funds for that construction are not immediately 
available. "And there's another problem. Joy Junction is primarily a shelter 
for women and families and we only take a very limited number of well-behaved 
single men."

	For additional information, please call Jeremy Reynalds at (505) 
880-6469 or (505) 877-6967 or go to www.joyjunction.org