Crews from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) have removed a homeless encampment from the Cedar-Riverside area of Minneapolis, which had been linked to a fatal shooting that occurred the previous week.
According to a MnDOT spokesman quoted by FOX 9, the encampment near Currie Park is “a critical safety concern following a fatal shooting late last week.” On Wednesday morning, after the notice was posted, the camp was dismantled.
In a press release, MnDOT said: “For as long as MnDOT can remember, they have insisted that the highway right-of-way is not a suitable location for human habitation. MnDOT works closely with local service providers and state and county partners to provide information,
support, and alternatives to people at the site, as they do whenever they must respond to the complex and urgent needs of people experiencing homelessness. Service providers and local organizations, such
as Hennepin County’s Streets to Housing team, have been making weekly visits to this location for the past few weeks to distribute information about services and shelters. For more details on the extensive outreach at this site, please get in touch with Hennepin County.”
The Homeless People Living In The Encampment Were Directed To Community Resources That Can Assist Them
Last Thursday, police were called to that campsite in response to reports of a fatal shooting. The victim, Adnan Mohamed Ali, 27, was found at the camp with fatal injuries on Saturday.
Following the fatal shooting, Councilmember Jamal Osman harshly criticized state leaders for failing to adequately address the encampments in their jurisdiction. After the encampment was cleared on Wednesday, Osman released a follow-up statement expressing further concern about the lack of action to deal with encampments and help those living there.
“The homeless encampments in Cedar-Riverside were shut down today by MnDOT in conjunction with the City of Minneapolis and other governments.
“Seeing this unfold fills me with nothing but revulsion. Closing encampments in my ward has been one of the most difficult and stressful aspects of my job as a city official. Many people in my area have been negatively impacted by the ineffectiveness of the multi-jurisdictional response to homeless encampments.
“Homeless encampments are a problem in the districts I represent more than anywhere else in the city. Why? Why is it acceptable that children living in poverty in Elliot Park, Phillips Park, Seward Park, and Cedar Riverside have to grow up in an environment where they are constantly threatened by dirty needles,
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shattered glass, and random acts of violence? In no other part of the city, and probably not the state, would children be expected to alter their normal routes to school because of homeless encampments? Since Labor Day, governments across the world have failed, forcing kids in Cedar Riverside to adapt to new circumstances.
MnDOT, Minneapolis Officials Clear Out Another Homeless Encampment
On Wednesday morning, authorities in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood cleared out another homeless encampment.
The clearing was done by the city of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
After a fatal shooting there last week, officials declared the camp to be a “critical safety concern.” Adnan Mohamed Ali, 27 at the time, was shot and killed in the incident.
Communications director for the Minnesota Department of Transportation Jake Loesch said, “MnDOT has always maintained that highway right-of-way is not a safe place for human beings to live.” “As always, MnDOT closely coordinates with local service providers and state and county partners to provide information, support, and alternatives to people at the site who are experiencing homelessness,” the agency said.
Jamal Osman, a member of the Minneapolis City Council who represents the area where the encampment is located, said to WCCO that he had been pleading with Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Transportation to do something about the situation for months.
Officials Said No Arrests Had Been Made
A team from East Gate Ministries distributed food and water on Friday. Tomas Walek, a pastor at the church, said, “Today, we’re just trying to let these people know that we care about them, that we love them.”Regular trash pickup was also being done by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The agency has announced that the site will be shut down, but no date has been given. One of the largest homeless encampments in Minneapolis, according to outreach teams that work with the homeless on a regular basis.
Member of the Minneapolis City Council for this area Jamal Osman released a statement pleading with Governor Tim Walz to intervene and MnDOT to take action. A portion of the statement read, “My staff and I have been begging for action at this encampment for months.”
Osman claimed that MnDOT was slow to address his group’s concerns. Highway right-of-way is not a safe place for human beings to live, the department said, adding that they have been working with organizations to get help to the people living there.
According to homeless outreach teams, Avivo serves as a home for those who have nowhere else to go due to a lack of affordable housing.
Director of Avivo Village and Outreach Justin LaBeaux praised the facility, claiming that its residents benefited the neighborhood. In addition, “it’s a good central place for service providers to come and offer resources.”
The Streets to Housing team in Hennepin County has warned that people living in encampments are especially susceptible to gun violence.
Hennepin County’s Office to End Homelessness planning analyst Erin Wixsten said, “In no way are they necessarily directly related to encampments.” “Unfortunately, people occupying and living in these spaces are often vulnerable to this violence and often become victims of these crimes and ancillary activities.”
Erin Wixsten, the principal planning analyst with Hennepin County Housing Stability, said that since mid-October, county outreach workers and nonprofit community partners have frequented the camp, logging approximately 300 service hours between them.
According to her, the Streets to Housing team in the county spent at least six hours per week talking to locals, and Healthcare for the Homeless provided medically assisted treatment, wound care, and harm reduction.