Groups working to raise money to rebuild Lake Street after riots
MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - As the situation in Minneapolis begins to calm down, attention is now turning towards rebuilding the area that saw some of the worst damage during riots last week.
Some of these businesses along Minneapolis' Lake Street could be gone for good. The rest will need capital to invest in repairs and reopening. That’s why a new coalition formed Friday is setting up a fund they’re asking all of us to support.
“I’m not going to give up," said Armondo Ocampo. "I’m not going to move that way.”
Ocampo opened his restaurant on Lake Street 17 years ago, but looters destroyed it in a matter of hours.
"They destroyed equipment, they destroyed the windows, they destroyed the food, they steal food, they make a mess," he said. "It’s bad.”
It’s not just Los Ocampo. Much of Lake Street, east and west, resembles a lumber yard. What isn't boarded up is barely up.
The Latino Economic Development Center says 220 buildings were either damaged or destroyed during the riots, and that’s just along Lake Street. A lot of grocery stores were lost and that means Lake Street has become a virtual food desert, and the owner of one of the remaining grocery stores that are open is worried.
La Mexicana barley survived the chaos. There’s no more rioting this week, but there’s also little peace.
"The residents are super scared, too," explained Maria Gutierrez of La Mexicana. "Not all the businesses. The residents are super scared. Not sleeping.”
Governor Walz and Senators Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar toured Lake Street on Friday looking to see if there is any state and federal help but business owners say they can’t wait.
"Immigrant businesses came in and revitalized this area," said Henry Jimenez with the Latino Economic Development Center. "Now these immigrants need our help."
They’re now launching a fund where anyone can contribute at RebuildandHealMN.org.
The funds will go toward rebuilding and recovering, all on a street they hope will once again lead to all corners of the world.
The Minnesota Coalition to Rebuild is the group launching the website where anyone can donate. Jaylani Hussein with CAIR Minnesota is one of the organizers. He tells us they have a starting point of raising $3 million, but know they will need much more than that.