An empty lot owned by a church in Minneapolis has become the location of a growing homeless encampment. Fox9 reported that the church’s chairman Andualem Emiro said, “They have no place to go, but at the same time I don’t think it’s appropriate to just go and conquer private property.”
The encampment was set up in early May. One resident of the area reported that, “It was kind of a parade. I was out an hour earlier walking by and it was empty, and an hour later tents were going up and people were just kind of streaming in.”
The homeless people have set up tents on the property of the Minneapolis Ethiopian Orthodox Church and are continuing to occupy the space 2 months after the church gave them 10 days to evacuate the lot. Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon commented, “It’s also not safe for the campers and it’s not healthy for people at the encampment, too.” According to Gordon, “The city has done things to help get trash cleaned up, provide a bathroom… there’s a washing station over there.”
Fox9 reported that the owner of Hiawatha Metalcraft, Scott Johnson, has said that he has seen “drug use, sex acts, fires and assaults” taking place in the encampment. Many of the residents that live in the area report feeling unsafe. The city of Minneapolis said in a statement to Fox9 back in May that, “This encampment is located on private property. The City will work with the property owner to determine how to address the encampment. The City is concerned about all encampments because they pose health and safety risks for both the people in the encampment and the surrounding neighborhood.”
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]
Photo “Homeless Camp” by Cory Doctorow. CC BY-SA 2.0.