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City clearing homeless encampment near Lake Street in south Minneapolis

South Minneapolis residents feel unsafe due to nearby homeless camp
South Minneapolis residents feel unsafe due to nearby homeless camp 02:21

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis city officials said crews are clearing a controversial homeless encampment near East Lake Street on Thursday.

The encampment, located at East 29th Street and Fifth Avenue South, drew outrage from residents and businesses in the area.


A city spokesperson told WCCO Thursday that notice of the closure, along with information on shelters and storage, was posted more than a week ago. On Wednesday, the city told WCCO, "Closure is likely to take place next week and the city will provide one week advance notice prior to closure."

"Individuals in the encampment are being told that they are trespassing and need to leave and not return to the site for one year," the spokesperson said. "In addition to the advanced notice of closure, they are given time to gather their belongings before exiting the property."

WCCO has not yet spoken to residents of the encampment.

Before Thursday's closure, neighbors presented a letter to city leaders describing what they call "the chaos" in their community. 

"We are again struggling with drug dealers doing business so close to our homes and harassing our kids," the letter read, in part.  

In the last five weeks, there have been seven disturbance calls, three stabbings, one explosion, two ShotSpotter activations and one homicide on the block.

Two businesses in the area told WCCO sales have slowed in recent weeks, and both cited the encampment as the cause.

In 2021, there was an encampment in the same area. During that time, there were more than 2,800 calls for service to that area from July through December, 911 records show. Officers responded to reports of shots fired, damage to property, assaults and drug activity.

Nationally, the Supreme Court is set to weigh arguments in a case involving the homeless and bans on where they may sleep, the most significant one on the issue in decades.

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