Minneapolis City Councilors vote to move homeless encampment to new site

A city of Minneapolis committee recommended moving a homeless encampment near Hiawatha Avenue and Cedar Avenue to a site at 2600 Minnehaha Avenue Thursday, but a formal vote Friday is required to move the plan forward. 

There are currently dozens of tents set up along the embankment not far from the Little Earth housing complex. The City of Minneapolis has been working with the American Indian community, Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to address both the short and long-term needs of people at the encampment, some of whom suffer from serious illness and addiction. 

In response to the growing encampment, the city has been coordinating with public and private partners to provide for people's immediate needs, including providing portable toilets, handwashing stations and overdose response kits. 

The Minneapolis City Council will formally vote on moving the encampment Friday after the Committee of the Whole, which includes the councilors, voted 7-5 to approve the relocation Thursday.

During a public input period, residents voiced their concerns of moving the encampment to the area near Aurora Charter School.

The crowd was emotional after the vote was announced, but the move won’t become official without City Council approval at Friday morning’s meeting.

If the City Council approves, the site is expected to be ready for occupancy by Oct. 31 and will have a Navigation Center to help the residents there and will have a designated property manager for the encampment.