City of Minneapolis Has Plan for Homeless Encampment

November 15, 2018 11:12 AM

There are more than 1,000 homeless adults in Hennepin County at last count.

And dozens of them, including Caryn Pocheco, have been living in an encampment near Hiawatha and Cedar Avenues in South Minneapolis.


Pocheco said she's lived in a tent the past two weeks. And it's a rough living.

"It's a full-time job to find out where you're going to clean up, where you're going to wash up, where you're going to eat," she said.

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The camp is growing. It's now up to 71 tents, housing as many as 160 people at any given time.

Thursday morning, the city announced plans to address medical needs and safety concerns within the camp by adding extra police patrols and mobile cameras.

The city will also begin helping the people in the camp by providing treatment for drug addiction to help stabilize their lives.

Ultimately, the city will work to find stable housing for people there. Mayor Jacob Frey said long-term the city will address the affordable housing crisis that now exists in Minneapolis.

Frey said the plan has support from St. Stephen's Human Services. The mayor hopes the camp will be disbanded by September.

"I think it is very realistic," he said. "We will have a full-throated effort in the coming days and weeks to make sure that the individuals that are presently at the encampment have every possible service they might need."

The camp is on land owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Those living there said they settled at the camp after being bounced from locations all over the city.

The city said it hasn't broken up the camp because nearby shelters don't have the space to house everyone.


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Todd Wilson

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