City crews cleared a homeless encampment on 3rd Avenue between Franklin Avenue and 22nd Street on Tuesday. The encampment was in the parking lot of a CenturyLink building, which a representative for CenturyLink said houses infrastructure for wireless and internet services. While one or two individuals frequently slept in the alcoves of the building for at least a year, the encampment of about 20 tents started in December, 2023.

A neighbor who helped encampment residents move their belongings on Tuesday said that Hennepin County services arrived around 7 a.m. and police came around 8:30 a.m. Crews were still hauling items away after 1 p.m.

People moved their things out of an encampment on 3rd Avenue on Tuesday. Photo by Anna Koenning

“It’s fucked up,” another neighbor helping encampment residents move said. “They’re just trying to live, trying to get back on their feet.”

Mark Molzen, a representative for Lumen which owns CenturyLink, said that Lumen notified the City about the encampment in mid-December and paid for the clean-up of their property and installing a perimeter fence.

Lumen, the company that owns CenturyLink, paid to put up a fence around the lot where the encampment was. Photo by Anna Koenning

A passerby who said he’d just gotten off work saw the commotion and asked the neighbors helping people move what was going on. The encampment wasn’t visible from the yellow tape surrounding the block.

“That’s a Rambo-style eviction,” the passerby said. “I didn’t even know they were living right there.”

Police cordoned off the streets and sidewalks a full block around the encampment. Photo by Melody Hoffmann

In the early afternoon, crews filled dump trucks with materials left at the encampment and installed cement barriers along the CenturyLink building perimeter at 2120 3rd Ave S.  

Crews dumped encampment materials into a dump truck on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Melody Hoffmann

The City cleared encampments that were concentrated near the Kmart lot at Lake Street and 1st and Blaisdell Avenues at the end of 2023.

People set up an encampment on 1st Avenue alongside 1-94 on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Maureen Wells

A new encampment popped up in the empty lot on 1st Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets alongside I-94 later on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Melody Hoffmann