Nenookaasi residents set up temporary camp a few blocks from cleared camp

Camp organizers say they encourage people to seek shelter beds

A chainlink fence surrounds an encampment
Residents and volunteers work to rebuild Camp Nenookaasi at a new location on 26th Street in Minneapolis on Friday after being evicted by the city the day before.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Following the clearing of Camp Nenookaasi Thursday, a group of unhoused people have set up in a new temporary location in a residential neighborhood in south Minneapolis.

Residents, organizers and volunteers hauled yurts, firewood and supplies three blocks to a corner lot near the intersection of 26th Street and 14th Avenue.

Two people hold a wooden door frame
Volunteers rebuild one of the warming yurts at Camp Nenookaasi’s new location on 26th Street in Minneapolis on Friday.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Camp Nenookaasi formed in August after a group of unsheltered people left another encampment along Hiawatha Avenue. At one point, Camp Nenookaasi provided shelter to as many as 180 people, most of them Indigenous. The city delayed closing the large encampment twice before clearing it yesterday.

The city of Minneapolis confirmed it owns the lot at 2601-2605 14th Ave. South, where some of the Nenookaasi residents are camping. In 2021, the city proposed an affordable housing project there as a part of its “Missing Middle” housing portfolio.

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Camp organizer Christin Crabtree says they chose the lot because it is owned by the city.

“We’ve been intentional about land use, so we can make progress with the same people,” said Crabtree.

Three Native people sit around a fire
Camp supporters Dani Faye Blue, of the Red Lake Nation, and her partner Robert Peters, of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, chat with organizer Nicole Mason on Friday at Camp Nenookasi’s new location on 26th Street and 14th Avenue in south Minneapolis.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

An estimated 60 to 70 people have moved to the new encampment, setting up a dozen or so large yurts on the site. Crabtree added organizers are encouraging camp residents to take shelter beds as they become available.

Over a dozen people were transported to shelter the day of the camp’s closure, according to Sarah McKenzie, spokesperson for the city of Minneapolis. She said about 130 people at the encampment have transitioned into more permanent housing over the past several months.

McKenzie said they are aware the residents of Camp Nenookaasi have established the new camp. The city does not have the resources available to address multiple encampments at once, she said.

“The city and its residents are seeing first-hand the reason there needs to be a coordinated approach between the city, county and state,” said McKenzie in a statement. “The city cannot do this work on its own.”

In anticipation of the previous encampment's closing, Hennepin County and local shelters made an additional 90 shelter beds available.  The city says the state, Salvation Army and Rescue Now were part of the coordination effort.

Smoke stacks poke out of large tarp roofs
Smoke rises from warming yurts at Camp Nenookaasi’s new location on 26th Street in Minneapolis on Friday.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

Correction (Jan. 30, 2024): A previous version misspelled Christin Crabtree’s first name. The above version is updated.