The Minneapolis Police Department cleared an encampment at Lake Street and 1st Avenue S. on Oct. 19. The encampment formed after the City cleared an encampment at the former Wells Fargo lot and added additional fencing around the former Kmart lot, which is now City property.
According to Regulatory Services, people at the encampment were given 30 minutes to clear the encampment at the former Atlas Staffing site last Thursday. Regulatory Services said a notice went up a few days in advance of the clearing, which was confirmed by an encampment resident, Victor, on site during the clearing.
It was unclear whether people at the encampment were offered housing options before the encampment sweep happened. According to one witness, those services came too late.
“They did that way after everyone done left and got their stuff and took off,” said a person who witnessed the encampment clearing and asked to stay anonymous for safety reasons. They had their own makeshift housing a block away from the encampment and was setting up a carpeted area for a man in a wheelchair who had been staying at the now-cleared encampment.
“Public Works cleaned up 60,000 pounds of garbage, 680 pounds of appliances to process and 2,160 pounds of metal,” Blair Loose of Regulatory Services said in an email to Southwest Voices.
Metro Transit’s Homeless Action Team was on site but Southwest Voices was unable to find anyone from the team that morning. No one from the Minneapolis Police Department was able to speak on record at the encampment sweep. In early October, Southwest Voices reached out to Mayor Jacob Frey’s office about this specific encampment and the long-term plan for the shifting encampments in the area and have yet to hear back.