Minneapolis, MN – Organizers with Nenookaasi healing camp hosted a press conference on Friday, February 2 at the camp’s new location, to discuss the ongoing struggle against repeat evictions and the unanswered call for housing solutions.
The city evicted the encampment twice in the span of two days, including an unannounced eviction on Tuesday and another on Thursday. The camp has again relocated, this time to a vacant lot on E 28th Street.
Camp organizer Nicole Mason said on Thursday that the constant cycle of evictions without adequate shelter feels retaliatory and is a misuse of resources spent on evictions and paying police, when it could be used for housing people.
“That amount of money can pay so many months of so many peoples’ rent. Why is it being misspent?” Mason said, referring to the high, taxpayer-funded price tag evictions carry.
As of Thursday, several people from the camp were housed, and few got into a shelter, where there were only five beds available. Organizers and unhoused residents alike are frustrated with the number of vacant buildings and indoor spaces that could be used as temporary housing so people can remain in one place together, making it easier for service providers to locate them. So far, the city has not stepped up to offer this in the interim before a more permanent option is available.
“We asked for at least temporary indoor housing from them. There has to be a solution, there has to be a building or a house with enough space for these guys to stay together and be indoors. We’ve asked for everything possible to keep them together until we can get the healing center,” Mason said.