Over 560 tents that house 800 people encamped in Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis have residents of the local neighborhood scrambling for a solution to restore safety to the area.
Since the Powderhorn Park camp was established, the surrounding area has thus far suffered three rapes, one of which involved a minor, copious amounts of drug use and even two separate murders, one of which left a pregnant woman dead. While there appears to be very little police presence around the massive encampment, a new unofficial security force is working to institute its own rules. Fox 9 says its reporters were barred by this force from standing on the sidewalks around the park.
This has left citizens scrambling to do what they can to keep the peace amidst a potentially volatile situation, per MPR.
Locals, intimidated by the violence, crime and lawlessness say they no longer feel welcome in their own corner of the city, adding that they can no longer use the park, per Fox 9.
The camp is legally possible because of an executive order issued by Governor Tim Walz. The Minneapolis Park Board tried to serve eviction notices to the residents of the encampment. However they were prevented from doing so by the Minnesota Interagency Council on Homelessness that invoked the governor’s order to maintain the growing tent city.
Meanwhile, several private groups have taken it upon themselves to assist the camp. When Alpha News visited the camp, people there said the Powderhorn Sanctuary Movement plays an active role in organizing volunteers who distribute supplies and enforce a strict no-media policy.
People running the Powderhorn Park homeless encampment insist that you don’t film what’s happening there.
“No photos or videos without authorization!” pic.twitter.com/vQW1L4UcHJ
— Kyle Hooten (@KyleHooten2) June 26, 2020
Other groups like the Minneapolis Sanctuary Movement as well as private citizens also create and distribute lists of items needed at the park for donors to bring.
❗️❗️Needs at MLK Park Sanctuary❗️❗️
Hygiene supplies (soap, shampoo, wipes etc)
— Minneapolis Sanctuary Movement (@mplssanctuary) July 6, 2020
‼️ EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN MINNEAPOLIS TODAY: Please send gatorade, ice, water, & fans to E & W Powderhorn‼️ pic.twitter.com/adiK85t0sJ
— Iemawn Chughtai (@iemawnio) July 8, 2020