Minneapolis residents feel ‘helpless’ as street becomes ‘destination’ for drug deals

“I want lawmakers to understand how abandoned and helpless we feel when we reach out to those who are supposed to help us and we get excuses or silence,” one resident said.

A north Minneapolis resident whose street has become “an established destination” for drug dealing said he wants elected leaders to “understand how abandoned and helpless we feel.”

“We are an established destination now for drug purchases. Cars stop by 24/7 and within moments they have a carhop with their face in the passenger window, ready to serve,” said Jay Dorsey, who owns a home across the street from an Aldi store that closed earlier this year to much disappointment from local residents.

Photo provided to Alpha News

“Aldi moved out and they moved in,” explained Dorsey, referring to a group of homeless residents who he says now sleep on a sidewalk across the street from his house.

“I don’t call it an encampment as there is occasionally one tent, but some sleep on chairs on Oliver Avenue,” he said, shedding light on some of the crimes that have happened in his area.

“My one neighbor, an elderly woman, was assaulted and beaten and sent to the ER,” Dorsey told Alpha News. “I have had packages taken and me and my house threatened. My other neighbor was burglarized. Next to him, another neighbor’s windows were shot out and her back fence was plowed through in an alley fight.”

Photos provided to Alpha News

He said that he’s reached out to government officials including Gov. Tim Walz, Mayor Jacob Frey, and some City Council members, but has either received no response or gotten “political platitudes.”

“I want lawmakers to understand how abandoned and helpless we feel when we reach out to those who are supposed to help us and we get excuses or silence,” Dorsey said.

Dorsey said that he’s seen men and women urinating and doing drugs from his bedroom window. “I can see their antics all night,” he said. Another woman who lives on Dorsey’s street has captured people urinating and defecating in public, saying the homeless residents “sleep in lounge chairs at night.”

Photos provided to Alpha News

“I worry for the neighbor kids walking through this or raising a family nearby,” Dorsey said. He explained that while he does feel less safe to a degree, it’s more embarrassing than anything else.

“Friends are scared or pity me and they certainly don’t want to park in front of an ‘opium den,’” he said.

Dorsey acknowledged that the issues may not be as severe as some other areas of the city but said it’s “still as frustrating.”

Photo provided to Alpha News

The city did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. Minneapolis has established a webpage for its response to homelessness and frequently refers media to that page in response to inquiries.

“Through a collaborative cross-departmental and multi-agency effort, the City’s Homeless Response Team (HRT) addresses encampments by building relationships and sharing information that connects unsheltered individuals to resources, services, and shelter,” the webpage says.


Hayley Feland

Hayley Feland previously worked as a journalist with The Minnesota Sun, The Wisconsin Daily Star, and The College Fix. She is a Minnesota native with a passion for politics and journalism.