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Home for 5 Months Being Torn Down, Homeless People Seek New Shelters

A homeless campsite was torn down

Minneapolis city witnessed a huge task force sweating off to close a controversial homeless encampment and making a big show out of it. The show did not last long as after being sweeped out of their temporary home for 5 months, the residents popped back to another camp just a few blocks away. The Nenu Kaasi camp was established on land owned by the city in the Minneapoli Ventura Village neighborhood, near 13th Avenue, East 23rd street. On Thursday before the almost-forced clearance of the camp, nearly 160 people called the camp “Home”. 

The perspective of neighborhood residents 

The city leaders, concerned authorities and police officials had previously gathered to discuss the future of the camp. They cited that the camp endangered the safety of the city and the neighborhood. The local residents had been complaining about the frequent trashing of clean streets, drug abuses and increased crimes in the area and the law enforcement officials considered the residents of the camp responsible for these troubling situations. One of the residents has also stated that he was considering moving out with his family to a safer and better environment rather than staying there. He also added that if the city does not take quick action against this then probably all the neighborhood residents would be forced to move out of their house. 

The story of the other side 

On the other hand, the residents of the camp were not on the same page as the city. The camp leaders commented that the city should be responsible for housing the homeless residents of the camp. They complained that they had been promised better and longer-lasting solutions by the city officials and government. The sudden closure of the camp made their living conditions more difficult than ever. One of the camp residents, Marissa Gunderson said that they had to reserve a bed in the new temporary camp site and it is difficult to reserve a bed unless she had a mobile phone to contact the campsite. She informed me that she had been on and off the streets since she became 18 years old. The five months in the camp is the longest time that she spent at a place and she started to think of it as her home. 

The residents united under the commands of their leaders and parked vehicles surrounding the campsite as a last attempt to protect it from demolition.The city officials stated that the city does not have enough resources to house 160 residents with permanent housing. They thought that this problem handling should not be thrown over their shoulder alone as the state government also should come to their aid to devise more long-term plans. 

What are the city officials saying 

City officials stated that they are planning to build a new community sector on the campsite and they would continue to go ahead with usual city plannings after closure of the camp and transferring the residents to the new campsite. They said that they had already delayed the closure of the camp twice so that the residents get adequate time to get connected to brokers and housing apartments. The Task Force has a redevelopment agreement with the city for the site to construct the Mikwanedun Audisookon Art and Wellness Center. 

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