Police clear encampment by Minneapolis City Hall; 11 residents find housing

Activists plead with a Metro Transit Police officer as after police cleared a small encampment in front of Minneapolis City Hall on Wednesday afternoon. (FOX 9)

As unsheltered people and their advocates pleaded with Minneapolis City Council members to stop encampment sweeps during a committee meeting on Tuesday afternoon, building security started distributing trespassing notices to residents of a small encampment that had been set up in front of City Hall just a few days prior. 

As the meeting ended, at least half a dozen Metro Transit squad cars arrived, and officers began clearing out the tents. 

City staff directed unhoused people in the encampment to Avivo, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit. By 7 pm., 11 people had taken offers for housing at Aivo Village, a shelter in the city’s North Loop that has tiny homes in a large warehouse. 

Emily Bastion, VP of Avivo’s Ending Homelessness program, said the shelter Avivo Village provides all residents with the following:

  • Three meals a day,
  • Access to housing case management,
  • Access to chemical dependency and mental health staff,
  • Allowed pets
  • A lockable space where they can store their belongings.

"We are a low barrier shelter, meaning that people don't really have to agree to programming we really meet people where they're at," she told FOX 9.

She said they don’t typically have so much free space, but several shelter residents had recently transitioned into more permanent housing. 

"Our ultimate goal is that everyone that moves into a village moves into the housing when they move out of our space. So unlike a kind of traditional shelter model, we are very housing focused. 

As of publication, it’s unclear how many residents were at the encampment to start and how many still need housing.  One tent remained after the site had been cleared, as well as small groups of protesters and dozens of officers.