Minneapolis council approves site to relocate homeless camp

September 26, 2018

After a week of contentious debate about the relocation of dozens of homeless people living in tents along Hiawatha Avenue, the Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday agreed to move encampment residents temporarily a few blocks east to a 1.5-acre property owned by the Red Lake Nation.

The City Council’s decision removes a hurdle that threatened to further prolong the process of relocating encampment residents.

But the site at 2105-2109 Cedar Av. S. won’t be ready until early December because three buildings on the property need to be demolished and any residual pollution must be cleaned up, according to David Frank, the city’s community planning and economic development director.

The cost of setting up the shelters at the site will be between $2 million and $2.5 million, Frank said. That doesn’t include providing social services to the homeless people.

Last week, the council delayed a decision on where to house the homeless residents, citing a lack of acceptable alternatives.

A few hours after the council vote last week, Mayor Jacob Frey, along with tribal leaders around the state, conducted a public tour of the Red Lake Nation-owned property, which had not previously been one of the proposed relocation sites.

“Thank you to tribal leadership for stepping up, and particularly the Red Lake Nation, for offering an important option for the temporary navigation center,” Frey said in a statement after the vote. “Today’s Council vote is a positive step forward and reaffirms that the site at 2109 Cedar Avenue South is culturally appropriate and equipped to provide for the safety and health of people currently living at the encampment along Hiawatha Avenue.”

Mukhtar M. Ibrahim • 612-673-4689

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