Too Many Nuts

Parking garage. Downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico

I’ve banned myself for life from the parking garage that I was banned for life from in 2016. I find it interesting that this can of nuts was in the space next to where I parked in the garage this morning. It should be the last photo from the parking garage.

When I walked into the parking garage this afternoon, a half-naked, grungy dude wearing a cowboy hat stepped out of the shadows under the stairwell, started telling me a sad story that made no sense and asked me for money. When I told him no, he became more aggressive about asking for money and followed me up the stairs blathering nonsense between yelling ‘Hey” trying to get my attention, and asking for money. I plodded up the stairs keeping my head down so I could vaguely see what the guy was doing behind me. Since I park on the top of the garage, he must have decided climbing so many flights of stairs was too much work, or at least not worth the effort, and gave up about halfway up. When I got home, I looked up who was managing the lot across the street from the office where I used to park and purchased a monthly subscription that starts tomorrow. I’ll still have to deal with transients, but they won’t have the advantage of the parking garage.

There is a downtown action team who used to tell homeless to move on and to stop panhandling. I was talking to the manager of the team, and she said they can no longer tell people to move on, and they can’t tell them to stop panhandling, either. The homless know it and are becoming more aggressive.

37 thoughts on “Too Many Nuts

  1. What a story, Timothy! I’m glad you weren’t attacked by this nutter. The big question is why? Why can’t these people who I do feel sorry for, not be told to pack out their trash now?

  2. Wow. I suppose at some level I may have considered such encounters a possibility, but a personal story really drives it home. Glad you got a subscription across from the office.

    • Hi Susan. Last week when I was walking to the garage, I stopped to talk to the team manager. While we were talking, a police officer chased a guy into the garage. The guy became very aggressive toward the officer when he saw he was trapped. He was not obeying the officer’s commands and it looked like he was going to try to fight the officer until backup showed up. The team manager said we needed to watch as witnesses to the arrest. She said she thought the guy was probably the person the police were looking for with a helicopter earlier that day.

      • And now for the Rest of the story. Do you remember Paul Harvey? Last Thursday I walked up and down Central. There were people sleeping in most of the doorways to the boarded up buildings and one guy I walked by was squatting in a doorway with his pants down, urine running from between his feet. He asked me for money as I walked by. Yeah right. The perfect time to ask.

  3. These are all social problems that aren’t going away any time soon. Insufficient social services and safety nets for the mentally ill translates into more rough encounters with citizens and ultimately, police. Police are asked to do way too much beyond their job description, and are not really trained to deal with the mentally ill. The City of Eugene came up with a program, CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) that has been relatively successful. They work with the police.
    https://whitebirdclinic.org/cahoots/

  4. Geez, Tim. It doesn’t help when the PD can’t do anything. Several years ago, COS wanted to ban aggressive panhandling with an ordinance. Of course, the ACLU and some other groups were allied against the ordinance saying it was unconstitutional. Whether it was or not is besides the point. When you say no, that’s it.

    I just find it surprising we haven’t had a “showdown” in COS. There are a lot of CCW and open carriers here. I have a CCW permit, but I don’t carry most of the time. If I know I’m going into a very sketchy area, which is rare, I open carry.

    Can’t believe the homeless guy asked you for money while pissing.

    • Hi David. There’s quite a bit of desperation these days. I think Albuquerque tried a panhandling ordnance as well, but I believe the ACLU put and end to it. I’m not sure what all happened, but that was a previous administration.

      • I’m sure there is a lot of desperation. A segment of our homeless are those who came from elsewhere hoping to work in the MJ industry here, until they found out they couldn’t pass the criminal background check to obtain an “MJ badge.” Without money or any other job, they added to the homeless ranks. Also, COS has bussed a lot of homeless out of town. For a while COS and Pueblo were sending their homeless back and forth, and they became “regulars” on the bus rides. The problem was “solved” when COS and Pueblo began bussing them to Denver. In turn, Denver started bussing them to Cheyenne, KC and ABQ. When Denver refused to accept homeless from COS and Pueblo, both cities began bussing them to your city and El Paso.

        One of the new problems is when COS began closing a couple streets in downtown so high-end restaurants can reopen with outdoor dining. First night went fine, no one was bothered by homeless panhandling. Second night, the homeless began panhandling the outdoor diners. By the fourth night, it got so bad, it required a permanent police presence. Then came the protestors … The protestors don’t like the homeless either. There have been a few confrontations between the protestors and the homeless. So much for the “open-minded” crowd.

  5. Oh, wow, Tim! I never liked parking garages finding them scary and a potential danger. How awful that you had this experience and how it is not shocking that management is not keeping things safe for those who park in their parking garage. How sad for not only these homeless people but for those who are subjected to their aggression. I’m glad you didn’t get hurt.

  6. It’s The City’s responsibility to keep these areas safe for people. There are areas for the homeless and Florida has done a lot to help them.
    But for the grace of god go I. There are those who are dangerous. I’m terrified to park in a garage or to go lots of places that I used to go with out worry of being accosted or harassed.
    On my way to work one day I stopped for coffee and right outside the door was a panhandler who asked me for money , said he was hungry. I told him instead I would buy him a breakfast sandwich and bring it to him. He called me every name in the book he was furious. It was very scary. When I came out to my relief he was gone.
    Living in a world where we have to be afraid is unacceptable. I’m glad your parking garage experience didn’t escalate. Be safe dear Tim.

    • Hi Holly. There are a few homeless I see fairly regularly. I buy them a breakfast burrito and a coffee and they really appreciate it. But I have had your same experience where the person begging became incensed at my offer to buy him breakfast instead of giving him cash. One friend told me he gave a homeless guy a bag of apples he had bought thinking the guy would eat the apples. He said when he went out later the homeless guy was trying to sell the apples to people. There are a lot of programs here to help the homeless, we’ve been involved with some of those programs, but some transients just persist at pestering people.

      • I have been ridiculed for trying to help the less fortunate but I feel like I have to do what Is right for me. Everyone has the right to not feel threatened though, a security guard would be a good idea in a parking garage.

      • They have security that drives through every now and then. I usually see security early in the morning when no one else is around (convenient not to have to deal with any threats), but I never saw them in the afternoon when all the people are hanging out on the stairs making me walk over them. It’s stupid. And the process I had to go through to cancel my parking pass with the City is just as ridiculous. The city is in the stone age when it comes to services. COVID has been a real boon for them to provide worse service.

        I got a subscription for the parking lot across from the office on-line immediately last night. My license plate is my permit. I downloaded a mobile app and added Laurie’s car to the subscription. When we move, I will cancel my subscription with my phone.

        I couldn’t set up autopay with the City to pay for parking, I had to walk down to their offices to pay for parking before COVID. Since then I’ve have to mail them a check each month and write a 30 digit account and invoice number on each check. I don’t know if they could make paying for parking much more annoying.

  7. Ugh. That could have ended up badly, I’m glad you got out of there and hopefully the new garage will have better security. It’s really sad that there are so many homeless and not enough resources to help people.

    • Hi Tiffany. The new parking is an open lot (surface parking). I used to park there before moving to the garage because the garage was less expensive. But now that security is becoming a big issue, it worth paying more for the lot.

  8. …. and here I thought I was going to see a shot of a very fat squirrel, eating nuts.
    Many of the homeless around here are very aggressive.
    Covid has made everything worse.
    Good news, I walk predominantly in the alleys. There is rarely a homeless person in the alleys.
    There’s no one to beg from. All the people with $ are on the main streets.
    Funny, the alleys are safer than the main streets.
    There’s no art in parking garages.

  9. Tim, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s frightening. I’m relieved that you made other arrangements right away. That’s just one more thing that I don’t like about larger cities…
    Be well, be happy. Hugs.

    • Hi Teagan. With the amount of loiterers I’ve been having to step over when they are lying on the stairs, they often wouldn’t move, and simply the number of strange people hanging out in the parking garage, I had been thinking about chaning parking. It will be dark when I come in, and the times I end up at the office late, it will be dark. I don’t want to give them the advantage of darkness. That incident was the last straw, as they say.

      • It’s a shame that it’s gotten that way. I have empathy for the homeless, but that is no excuse for the kind of thing you’re talking about. Just as COVID is no excuse for the “excuse” so many companies and organizations are using it to deny accountability.
        Wishing you a better tomorrow. Hugs.

  10. So glad and relieved that you got through the potentially dangerous situation, Tim.
    We share the beggar’s survival events in Nottingham, Sir. My escapes from lock-down are rare, but I have managed two into the City Centre this month, I came across and was intimidated by beggars, hoodies and pavement cyclists. But didn’t see a single uniformed police officer anywhere.
    Take care.

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