GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — As Powderhorn Park homeless camps grow, neighbors demand help
A group of neighbors is demanding elected officials respond to a growing homeless encampment near Powderhorn Park. From a handful of people six days ago, two camps have now sprung up on the east and west sides of the park, with roughly 100 residents being fed by volunteers and living in mostly donated tents. Lily Lamb, a neighbor who helped organize a meeting in the park on Tuesday night, demanded a plan from elected officials by Friday. Meeting organizers took care to be sensitive, demanding no evictions without alternative housing. But for others the concern is immediate. Neighbor Pat Kerrigan warned of people preying on residents of the camp, expressing concerns about drug dealing, prostitution and sex trafficking. Some residents of the camp sought shelter after being evicted from the Midtown Sheraton hotel, which had been serving as a temporary shelter.
For three months we've been told to wash our hands, wear a mask in public and stay six feet away from others to combat the spread of coronavirus. But as more businesses, restaurants and activities reopen across Minnesota, you might be eager to get out of the house and get back to a "normal" routine, even though there are still risks. Quarantine fatigue, or caution fatigue, is being observed in people across the country. Months of stress and mental exhaustion have been building, with worries about our health, safety and the economy. And doctors worry that built-up exhaustion could lead people to relax their safe coronavirus practices, causing a spike in cases.
Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday that the Minnesota Zoo is on the brink of closing without help that's been requested as part of his bonding bill. At a news conference focused on his "Local Jobs and Projects Plan," Walz urged lawmakers to pass the bonding bill during their special session. In a question and answer session after the main portion of the governor's program, he brought up the zoo, saying they were at point where they're going to have to move animals and close without financial help. Such funding is already under discussion in the special session. At a hearing of the House State Government Finance Division on Tuesday, the committee approved an amendment to HF 111, adding $6 million in funding support for the zoo. Minnesota Zoo CFO Abigail Mosher said the cost for the zoo to remain closed is nearly as high as the cost to remain open due to the high cost of animal care.