A homeless encampment in Minneapolis is a growing problem and is causing concerns among residents. The encampment has been near Sheridan Memorial Park since the summer of 2020, on property belonging to the city. City Council Member Steve Fletcher called removing the encampment “not a good strategy.”
Shane Bennett, a member of the homeless community, spoke about removing the encampment. “What’s the point of shutting us down when you’re just going to push us down the road and it’s just going to start up again anyways?” The encampment belongs to the third ward, which is the responsibility of Council Member Fletcher, and his constituents think that he has not done enough to fix the problem.
The owner of a local business, Rich Waryan, said in an interview with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that he has witnessed “drug paraphernalia, discarded condoms, discarded evidence of over-intoxication with piles of vomit right in front of the door, piles of human feces.” He says he is not “against” the members of the homeless community, but that he is just asking for “things to improve.”
Fletcher says that much has been done to combat homelessness. The city has been adding large numbers of beds to the shelter systems and is currently building another shelter that will hold 36 more. However, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was told by some in the encampment that “even though beds and shelter are available, some don’t want to go and would rather stay on the streets.” This poses a problem for the city as far as fixing the issue. In order to fix that issue, community groups and teams have been talking with some homeless individuals to find out their needs and how shelters can better serve them.
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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]