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Notices to vacate served at three Minneapolis encampments

According to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, notices were delivered to occupants on Monday at Peavey, Elliot and Kenwood Park encampments.
Credit: KARE

MINNEAPOLIS, Kan. — The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) served notices to vacate to occupants at three temporary encampments due to a recent uptick in crime.

According to a press release from the MPRB, residents at Peavey, Elliot and Kenwood Park encampments were given notices on Monday, citing "significant crime and safety incidents, including assault."

The Peavey and Kenwood encampments are also located within safe school zones, which is not permitted after a resolution was adopted unanimously by the Park Board commissioners in mid-July.

According to the release, after the notices were served, park staff informed the occupants that the sites must be cleared this week. Both Elliot Park and Kenwood Park encampments were cleared on Wednesday.

The MPRB says it provided outreach and transportation options for the occupants, and hired a contractor to clean up the sites after they've been vacated.

"There are currently hundreds of unsheltered people in the park system, and the lack of shelter and housing options is having a devastating impact on those living in parks, the neighborhoods surrounding the parks, and our organization. Park staff are committing significant time and resources to implement the directives of our Board and follow the executive orders of the Governor related to COVID-19 and unsheltered people,” said Superintendent Al Bangoura in a statement. “Our priorities are to address those sites with documented crimes, reduce the number of parks down to no more than 20, and get permits issued for temporary encampments that currently don’t have one. The priority for our state needs to be additional funding for our city and county partners so they can immediately increase available shelter and housing for those experiencing homelessness.”

Park staff is continuing to implement a resolution that limits the number of tents per encampment to 25, and now requires an encampment permit for each site.

The resolution also allows the superintendent the authority to close any encampment when there is a documented threat to people's health and safety.

Occupants at Powderhorn Park encampment were relocated in mid-July after numbers swelled to about 560 tents. Park staff says there are currently about 35 tents remaining at Powderhorn, and those occupants have also been issued notices to relocate due to the ongoing crime and the park's location, which lies within a safe school zone.

According to the release, the MPRB has issued permits for temporary encampments at four parks and have evaluated a number of other parks with existing tents, designating 12 of those parks as capable encampment settings while permits are pursued.