An update on the City’s response to homeless encampments

July 14, 2021

The City of Minneapolis approaches homeless encampments with the belief that:

  • Everyone experiencing unsheltered homelessness is vulnerable and deserving of being treated with dignity and respect.
  • The City must work with community partners to connect people experiencing homelessness to housing, shelter and services.
  • Encampments represent a serious health and safety risk, particularly for those staying within the encampment.

The City is currently monitoring several encampments throughout the city, providing outreach and hygiene and trash collection support. The City Homeless Response Coordinator team and contracted street outreach teams visit encampments weekly to offer services and shelter. The City responds to encampments on City-owned property and is asked to assist with encampment closures on private property. There are also, at times, encampments on property owned by other jurisdictions, including the State, MPRB, and Hennepin County.

The decision to close an encampment on City-owned property is a City enterprise decision made with input from community partners and multiple City departments, including Health, Public Safety, Fire, Public Works and others. Decisions include an analysis of public health and safety.

City residents should call 311 if they would like to share questions or concerns related to encampments to ensure that the City outreach teams are connecting our residents experiencing unsheltered homelessness to available services.

The City’s goal is for all people to gain access to permanent housing that is safe, stable, and affordable over the long term. Since March 2020 the City has invested $13.4 million in Minneapolis shelters and to expand street outreach services.  Because of these investments, we have 200 more shelter beds, including low barrier culturally specific shelter, available today than we did a year ago at this time and another 36-bed facility under construction. Shelters are open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, have COVID-19 protocols in place, and have wrap-around services that help people transition out of shelter and into permanent housing.

Learn more about the City’s work with partners responding to homelessness.