City of Minneapolis Votes on Moving Homeless Encampment

September 21, 2018 11:50 AM

The Minneapolis City Council is planning to relocate people living in a homeless encampment near Hiawatha and Franklin Avenues.

The council is moving forward on a property at 2600 Minnehaha Avenue.

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The council went forward on the property city staff recommended even though they had three possible properties to choose from. 2600 Minnehaha site is 1.5 acres of land. That land is right next to and across the street from two charter schools. The other property up for discussion was the Roof Depot parking lot site, which is 1.9 acres.

RELATED: Minneapolis Looking at Options to Move Homeless Encampment

"There are two very clear points of information that we have today. The American Indian community has requested the Roof Depot site and there's an empty parking lot ready to go," council member Alondra Cano said.

"Number two, the Latino families and students in the school are saying they do not feel comfortable with this being put next to them at least at this pace, at this rate right now. As we've heard from some folks in the audience today the school learned about this on Monday."

RELATED: City Task Force Outlines Plan for Minneapolis Homeless Encampment

Either location would include trailers that would be posted on each site housing 156 people, along with a navigation center. The center would have showers, bathrooms and give people directions to health and chemical dependency programs, along with information on housing. 

City staff told council the budget for either site is somewhere around $2 million to $2.5 million. But the city staff said they have no money and that didn't sit well with council President Lisa Bender.

RELATED: 2nd Death at Minneapolis Homeless Encampment Under Investigation

"And I would really like to hear from our staff how much money we're talking about, where that's coming from, what we're not going to do instead, what money we have for this or don't, what we can expect from the county or the state or private entities," she said. "Because I don't want to continue to give the impression to the community that we are serious about this without making a serious commitment of actual dollars."

City staff told council members they could have the site at 2600 Minnehaha Avenue up and running in one to two months’ time.

RELATED: City of Minneapolis Has Plan for Homeless Encampment

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Todd Wilson

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