Minneapolis City Council committee meets Thursday to discuss homeless encampment

Officials want to relocate people before cold weather comes

Sloane Martin
September 19, 2018 - 8:14 am

By Edgar Linares

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The Minneapolis city council is considering options for relocating the growing homeless camp south of downtown.

City leaders, community groups and public health workers want to move the roughly 300 people from Cedar and Hiawatha, to a place with more secure shelter before the cold temperatures set in. Gordon says several agencies are working to house some of the residents, so the city will not have to find housing for each one. People living at the camp include children and expectant mothers.

One proposed site is on city owned property 2600 Minnehaha Ave. S and the other is the former Roof Depot Warehouse on the west side of Hiawatha.

Two nearby charter schools have spoken out against the first option over safety concerns, per the Star Tribune.

The current encampment is in councilmember Cam Gordon's Ward 2. He tells Dave Lee on the WCCO Morning News Wednesday they're keeping multiple options open for what they're calling "navigation centers."

"How far away will it be from the charter school? How is it going to be secure and clean and function well?" he asked. "We're certainly listening to those concerns and taking them seriously to see how they can be addressed. We're going to be evaluating that as part of the general picture as we compare it to other sites."

The committee of the whole is meeting at 1:30 at city hall. Gordon says the council could approve a site for the navigation center during Friday's full council meeting.

Elected leaders are aiming to take action on relocation around the beginning of October.