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Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 00:31
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — Camp Hope, or "Tent City" as some might know it, has been helping homeless people get back on their feet for over a year and hopes to continue doing so after applying for a Planned Unit Development designation heard before the Planning and Zoning Commission last week.
The Planned Unit Development will allow the camp to continue to use tents as a form of transitional housing for the homeless and was approved by city staff with conditions.
"This camp has really provided a safe place for people to stay while they are trying to put the pieces back together," said Community of Hope Executive Director Nicole Martinez.
But it could all be shutdown if city council does not approve the concept plan allowing tents to be used as temporary housing.
"It would be unfortunate if this went away because we were unable to meet 2 of 16 conditions," Martinez said.
Some of those conditions include access to permanent potable water and bathrooms 24 hours a day 7 days a week along with a cooking area.
Martinez said those facilities might be difficult to meet in the 12 months the city requires for completion because of funding.
"We have been researching and writing grants to try and get funding for the tent city to make improvements, but most of this is going to be dependent on donations," Martinez said.
The site currently has access to bathrooms inside their building 5 days a week and access to 5 porta-pottys at any given time.
Other conditions that are already being met include a maximum of 50 people and 45 tents.
The conditions also include a roster of all campers, which is already a procedure with all camp members.
The proposal will be heard January 22nd with a public hearing date on February 5th of next year.
The camp is taking donations either monetary or in the form of blankets and coats as the temperatures drop.
For more information:
Mesilla Valley Community of Hope
999 West Amador Avenue
Las Cruces, NM 88005
Phone: (575) 523-2219