Minneapolis council declares unsheltered homelessness a public health emergency

Call to delay Minneapolis encampment eviction

Call to delay Minneapolis encampment eviction

With colder weather on the way and more attention on the homeless, Minneapolis city leaders have signaled their desire to find better solutions.

At a meeting on Thursday, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a resolution that declares unsheltered homelessness a public health emergency.

The measure simply states that the council’s members are focused on exploring all ways to address homelessness.

It comes as the city plans to evict a large homeless encampment in the East Phillips neighborhood next week.

RELATED: Minneapolis sets date to clear East Phillips homeless encampment; organizers plead for more time

The encampment, which has come to be known as Camp Nenookaasi, was deemed a safety and public health concern by city officials, and plans are now set to evict the approximately 180 people living in the camp next Thursday.

After Thursday’s council meeting, councilors asked Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey to delay the camp eviction until Feb. 16. However, the city has so far said that extending the deadline isn’t possible because the sale of the property there has already been approved.

Both the city and the encampment’s organizers say they’ve been doing outreach to find permanent housing for the people living there.