Homeless Shelter Built By ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ Shuts Down After Vagrants Take Advantage Of Charity: Report
7/29/2010 Tilden Township, PAThe tour bus with "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" parked next to Trisha Urban's house.At the home of Trisha Urban in Tilden Township, where her house is being renovated by the ABC television show "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" Thursday afternoon. Filming for the show is underway. Photo by Ben Hasty
(Photo By Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

An Albuquerque, New Mexico, homeless shelter that was built by the team from ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” shuttered its doors after those who ran it were taken advantage of by the very individuals they intended to help, but as homelessness rises in The Duke City, a local media outlet recently shone a spotlight on that failed charity.

In 2008, “Extreme Makeover” transformed the lives of the Martinez family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by building them a massive house, as well as a huge homeless shelter to help their mission started by the family’s patriarch, Gerald. Gerald died in 2012 from cancer, but his wife Liesa recently told local media that even before he became sick, he had thoughts about shutting down his charity’s doors due to the behavior of some of the homeless people.

“Some of the people that we helped the most were the ones that became the most vicious,” Liesa, whose last name is now Reece, told a local ABC affiliate in the city. “They became entitled that we owed them something.”

The family was nominated for the hit reality show by somebody from their community who knew of their charity.

“Someone from a church here in town nominated us; they found out some of the work we were doing,” Reece said.

“Within a week, the show built the family a new home and a homeless shelter in the middle of one of the toughest blocks in the city,” the ABC affiliate explained.

“Before he died, even Gerald said this isn’t working,” Reece added. “We’re being taken advantage of. Where we’re enabling too much.”

She shut down the homeless shelter not long after her husband passed away, but now she said that the neighborhood where the home is located is “the worst it’s ever been.”

Reece, who uses her home for wedding venues, told the media outlet that she would still like to help solve the city’s vagrancy issue.

“Something needs to be done. And I want to be a part of this something. Whatever’s going on, it’s not working,” Reece explained.

On Monday, the city of Albuquerque passed scene amendments that increased the city’s budget for homelessness and emergency housing by more than 100%.

Part of the city’s solution will be the establishment of what are essentially tent cities on vacant dirt lots.

“The budget also addresses the increase of homeless camps on our streets,” KOAT 7 recently reported. “Keller’s office asked for $750,000 of that money to allow encampments to be set up in empty dirt lots across the city, and that’s a total of more than $7 million.”

The city also plans to build housing for the homeless.