Minneapolis homeless encampment officially cleared

MnDOT workers install fencing around the homeless encampment site
MnDOT workers install a final piece of fencing around the site of the Hiawatha homeless encampment Friday, which has been cleared. Many residents have moved to heated tents at temp shelter down the block.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

A homeless encampment that stood along a Minneapolis highway sound wall for much of the year is gone.

Minnesota Department of Transportation workers on Friday finished installing the final pieces of chain link fencing around the site at Hiawatha and Franklin avenues.

Many of the residents have moved to large heated tents at a temporary shelter nearby designed to house 120 people.

A strip of land near Franklin and Hiawatha has been cleared of tents
A strip of land near Franklin and Hiawatha avenues in Minneapolis has been cleared of tents. On Dec. 21, 2018, workers finished installing the final pieces of fencing around the site.
Matt Sepic | MPR News

Steve Horsfield with the nonprofit Simpson Housing Services said staff were able to squeeze in another 10 beds. He said people at the shelter are generally settling in well.

"I talk to people who tell me they've gotten here, checked in, and slept for 24 hours straight because of just the sheer exhaustion of what it was like for them staying at the encampment," Horsfield said.

Social service agencies have found permanent housing for about 150 others who'd been living at the Hiawatha encampment.

The shelter, known as a navigation center, provides some social services. The Red Lake Nation provided the land for the temporary shelter, which consists of three large, heavy-duty tents. It is scheduled to operate through May.

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