Officials start clearing newest south Minneapolis homeless encampment
Two days after starting to clear a south Minneapolis homeless encampment, forcing its residents to pack up and leave, city officials have started clearing the newest encampment that formed nearby.
It’s the third time in four weeks — and the second time this week — that the city has cleared a south Minneapolis homeless encampment.
Sarah McKenzie, a spokesperson for the city, cited “imminent public safety concerns” as the reason for clearing the encampment Thursday morning. She added that those concerns include fire hazards and growing tensions between the encampment’s residents and people who live nearby.
The encampment was formed on a city-owned lot near East 22nd Street and 16th Avenue South, just a couple blocks from East Phillips Park, after the city cleared an encampment about half a mile away near East 26th Street and 13th Avenue South — that also being a new location of a previous encampment just a few blocks north at East 23rd Street and 13th Avenue South. The 23rd Street encampment, known as Camp Nenookaasi, was cleared the first week of the new year.
The city has cited public health concerns for each of the evictions. For Thursday’s, McKenzie said some people had broken into a fenced-in lot between two residential homes, took out “no trespassing” signs and set up several yurts overnight Tuesday. McKenzie said the city reposted the “no trespassing” sign and posted the order to vacate the area on Wednesday.
The Office of Community Safety Commissioner Toddrick Barnette will comment on the closure later Thursday morning. Check back for updates.