Encampment on Minneapolis church property grows

Residents say they are witnessing drug deals and prostitution on vacant land owned by a church as a homeless encampment grows on the property.

The lot, owned by a Minneapolis Ethiopian Orthodox Church, has been taken over by an encampment. The church gave the people 10 days to leave then, but two months later, neighbors say the problem is only getting worse. 

Scott Johnson is the president of Hiawatha Metalcraft. He says he’s seen drug use, sex acts, fires and assaults. 

After 12 years on the block, some neighbors no longer feel at home inside of their own homes. 

Bronwen Tynddol is a social worker who spends her days housing people experiencing homelessness. He says it is stressful to come home and deal with it in his backyard. 

"It’s also not safe for the campers and it’s not healthy for people at the encampment, too," said Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon.

"The city has done things to help get trash cleaned up, provide a bathroom… there’s a washing station over there," he said. "It’s visited regularly by city outreach workers trying to get options available." 

After several community meetings, a plan is in the works to close the camp.