A new homeless camp has begun to form outside U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis ahead of the Minnesota Vikings’ preseason opener Saturday.
Crime Watch Minneapolis was the first to learn of the encampment earlier this week.
There were about 25 people spotted at the camp Thursday afternoon. The city told Alpha News it plans to send a homeless response team to the site.
“Encampments are illegal as individuals are trespassing and occupying space owned by someone else. They create health and safety risks for the people living there, as well as the surrounding community,” the city says on its website.
The city has been playing a game of whack-a-mole with homeless encampments over the past two years. Efforts to remove camps are often met with resistance, and sometimes threats of violence, from left-wing activists. In other cases, the camps simply relocate to a new location.
In 2020, the Minneapolis City Council voted to spend $2 million in COVID-relief funds on a tiny-house village for the homeless, which was completed in February. City officials previously told Alpha News that people in encampments often refuse services from their homeless response teams, which help connect residents to shelters and other resources.
The new camp is right next to a light rail station outside U.S. Bank Stadium. In an internal memo earlier this year, the chief of the Metro Transit Police Department called for flooding the trains with police to combat growing public safety issues.
The Minnesota Vikings are set to play the San Francisco 49ers Saturday night for their preseason opener.