MINNEAPOLIS -- A progressive Minneapolis neighborhood that pledged not to call the police in the wake of the death of George Floyd is now dealing with a 300-strong homeless encampment in a local park, according to reports.
Traffic has reportedly increased in the neighborhood around Powderhorn Park, as drug dealers seek to meet their clientele displaced during the civil unrest, rioting and looting following Floyd’s death at the end of May. At least one person overdosed inside the park and was brought out by an ambulance. Prostitution has also been reported in the area.
Residents in the neighborhood historically known for its far-left politics and activism intervened last week when park police gave campers 72 hours to dismantle their tents and leave. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has since passed a resolution not to evict people from any city park and has called for increased funding for longer-term housing for campers, according to the Star Tribune.
“We are not going to kick the can down the road, push people out of public spaces when they have nowhere else to go,” Park Board President Jono Cowgill told the Tribune. “This is not a sustainable, dignified solution for folks who are experiencing homelessness right now, and the state needs to step up.”
The board has put in place more than a dozen portable restrooms, a shower trailer, trash bins and running water and electricity in Powderhorn Park. Volunteers alternate in shifts to distribute food and supplies, offer medical care and counseling and patrol the park at night to ensure safety. Residents have also requested a block party permit to limit some traffic to the park, according to the Times.
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