Navigation center for homeless in Minneapolis nearly complete

December 13, 2018 06:47 PM

The new navigation center on Cedar Avenue in south Minneapolis is a work in progress.

All three living pods will house roughly 120 people moved from the homeless encampment on Hiawatha Avenue.

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Pod one is nearly full. Pod two has framing and covering up to finish. Crews are installing flooring and heating and the space should be operational by Saturday.

Pod three will come online Wednesday. The three living pods have 40 cots each.

RELATED: Amazon CEO giving $2.5M to Minneapolis homeless nonprofit

Tuesday, 10 people moved in. Wednesday, another 14 were transferred to the center and a total of 40 people were there by the end of Thursday.

"Our intent with this is to get as many people safely indoors into a better environment as quickly as possible," Steve Horsefield of Simpson Housing Services said.

RELATED: Efforts begin to move people in Minneapolis homeless encampment to navigation center

At the encampment on Franklin Avenue, drug use was common knowledge. With the City of Minneapolis spending $1.5 million to get this navigation center up and running, some have questioned whether drug use will be accepted.

"The answer is that we're using a housing-first approach. No, we will not have drug use on site. But we will not be turning away people and having people taking a test before admittance," Mayor Jacob Frey said. 

RELATED: Minneapolis prepares to move people from homeless encampment to navigation center

Frey said there is no end date as to when everyone will be moved from the Franklin Avenue site.

The city has hired a private security firm that will patrol the grounds of the navigation center.

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Todd Wilson

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