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Minneapolis park board may limit homeless encampments at city parks

It is considering a resolution Wednesday that would also require encampments to be gone by Sept. 1.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is considering a resolution that would limit the number of parks with encampments and require all the encampments to be gone by Sept. 1. 

The resolution would amend a resolution the MPRB passed last month, allowing city parks to be a refuge space for people experiencing homelessness.

This new resolution would terminate that declaration on Sept. 1, limit the number of parks with encampments to no more than 10, and reduce the number of tents to no more than 10 in any encampment.

The MPRB passed the refuge space resolution after hundreds of people sought shelter in Minneapolis' Powderhorn Park after a Midtown hotel that was used as a homeless sanctuary in the wake of the civil unrest was cleared out. 

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According to the MPRB resolution, there are now encampments at 30 parks in the city, including two "large" encampments at Powderhorn Park where the population "likely exceeds 400 tents and 600 persons."

Officials have looked at the size of the Powderhorn Park encampment, saying the size of it is not "wholly aligned with guidance related to the COVID-19 pandemic and fails to conform to best practices for public health and human safety," finding that the optimal number of tents for health and safety is 10. 

The MPRB will consider this at its meeting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday

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