A violent homeless camp that local businesses said was supported by the city has been cleared.
Late last month, Alpha News reported on a homeless camp that was allegedly home to a slew of violent crimes and encroached on the property and safety of nearby businesses. Now, it appears that the camp, formerly located near 37th Avenue and Technology Drive, is gone. This comes after businesses near the collection of tents and shelters filed a lawsuit, accusing the city of enabling the camp and requesting at least $50,000 in damages.
“I drive by the encampment every day on my way to work,” a north Minneapolis man told Alpha News. “Suddenly today the entire encampment has been cleared,” he reported on Friday.
Photos the man sent of the now vacant area contrast sharply with images Alpha News captured in mid-October.
The man wonders “if the change in [City] Council leadership cleared the way for this [encampment] to finally be cleared. The timing is very curious,” he observed.
The city also appears to have put up signs that prohibit parking along the street. Previously, there were a handful of vehicles staged alongside the camp, some of them filled with building supplies.
Before the camp was removed, it was the site of at least two strangulations, three stabbings and continuous drug activity.
Meanwhile, other encampments dot the city, raising concerns as winter fast approaches. One of these tent villages is in the North Loop neighborhood, positioned directly adjacent to the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Thomas Canfield of the Salvation Army finds the proximity of the camp to a shelter that could get its residents off the streets “ironic because there’s such a great solution sitting right there when they walk out of their tent every morning,” per WCCO.
Recently reelected Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has shown his willingness to have camps like these removed, even when it draws the ire of his fellow progressives. Frey cites issues of safety to the surrounding public and the incubating effect they may have for drug crimes and human trafficking to explain this decision.