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Residents near south Minneapolis encampment say they're living in fear

Residents living near an encampment are concerned for safety; at their wits end
Residents living near an encampment are concerned for safety; at their wits end 01:50

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Residents living in a condominium building in south Minneapolis say they're living in fear. Over the past month, a homeless encampment has been steadily growing on the 2900 block of Blaisdell Avenue. 

"This is causing us a lot of problems. At night when you sleep, these people are doing drugs, and you don't know what's going to happen, if they're going to break your window," said a resident named Hani. 

She lives in an apartment unit close to the encampment and says she hears people banging on her window and walls at night. To protect the integrity of the window, her family stacked up household items to act as a barrier from the inside. She says someone in her family feels they need to be there at all times to make sure nothing happens to their home. 

"We've called 311, 911, no one is helping at all," she said. 

On Tuesday, there was a shooting at the encampment that left one man injured. Over the past month, Minneapolis Police say five people have been shot in the area, including a deadly shooting on May 16.

"We're lucky not yet a shot has come through that wall, because there are families literally on the other side of that wall," Park Square Condominium President Raymond Hoffman said. 

The management team at the condominiums is at their wit's end.   


"How much more do we have to put up with?" Hoffman said.

He says they've been asking the city, council members and mayor for help to clear the encampment for weeks. They thought they had a date set last week, but it fell through. 

"I did get a security company with 10 officers, all that good stuff, but after that coordination, the city fell through on their end. We were here that Thursday," Westport Properties Portfolio Manager Abas Mohamed said.

They say the sleepless nights are taking a mental and financial toll on the residents and condo owners. 

"A lot of the families are more or less middle- or low-income families and they just want a safe space, and now they have to deal with all these issues and now a lot of the owners who rent their units are feeling like they're losing money because a lot of the renters want to move out," Mohamed said.

Last week, the City of Minneapolis told WCCO the closure of the encampment was "imminent." On Tuesday, a city spokesperson said it's working with the property owners for an "imminent closure."

"Encampment closure operations are fluid and dependent on resources, capacity, and external factors. Closure dates can shift as a result," the spokesperson said.

"I don't want words from them. I want action," Hoffman said. 

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